Pure metallic Lithium is stored is mineral oil or other oil solution to prevent reaction (water in air/humidity).I saw my first demonstration of a chunk of lithium (size of one Vegas dice cube) and Water in high school chemistry -- safety glasses were mandatory. Typical of Clark's experience, explodes into flame. It is an Exothermic reaction, so the heat released often ignites the hydrogen gas given off.
Lithium reacts intensely with water, forming lithium hydroxide and highly flammable hydrogen gas.
The colourless solution is highly alkalic. The exothermal reactions lasts longer than the reaction of sodium and water, which is directly below lithium in the periodic chart.
2 Li(solid) + 2 H2
O -> 2 LiOH (aq) + H2
C lithium reacts with hydrogen to lithium hydride (LiH). The white powder that forms releases hydrogen gas upon later reaction with water, in amounts of 2800 liter per kilogram hydride.
As such, lithium is always studied for its application as hydrogen storage.
Seawater contains approximately 0.17 ppm lithium. Rivers generally contain only 3 ppb, whereas mineral water contains 0.05-1 mg lithium per liter. Large amounts of lithium were found in holy water from Karlsbad, Marienbad and Vichy. In solution it is only found as Li+ (aq).
Read more: http://www.lenntech.com/periodic/water/lithium/lithium-and-water.htm#ixzz2SRrJhy4h