Experiment 2: Lithium Battery

Lithium is an alkali metal, which means that it is fairly reactive with water and air.  Some batteries have lithium in them, so following NurdRage's tutorial, I set about extracting lithium from batteries.  First I remembered that some coin batteries say "Lithium", so I found two of those with the word "Lithium" printed on them.  I took one apart and dumped a metal mesh that I thought was lithium into some cooking oil to keep it from oxidizing with the air.  I then dumped the rest of the battery into some water and it fizzed.  Thus I learned that the mesh was not lithium; the other part was.  With the second battery, I was more careful and found some reddish stuff on the inside of one of the polarities and isolated that in the oil.  When placed in water, this reacted quite well.  However, I breathed and then started coughing.  Later, I found a battery pack that had two AAs in it that were lithium.  These were the type NurdRage took apart.  I unwrapped one of them and found a nice roll of lithium.  I placed that under the oil and reacted a small part with water.  Fizz!!!  Once again, I breathed and then commenced coughing.  To remove the irritant, I opened some windows and blew the air out with a fan.  From my dad's research (he is a chemist), we decided that the irritant gas is probably hydroxide, so if you react some lithium, you may want to be wary of that.