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Making glass and ceramics stronger, work harder, wear longer and resist thermal expansion.

Albemarle has a long history of supplying the glass and ceramics industries with high-quality, consistent lithium carbonate and spodumene products.

These lithium compounds play a crucial role in enhancing everyday products, particularly in the glass and ceramics industry: lithium carbonate is essential for manufacturing strong, durable and thermal-resistant glass products such as those found in smartphones, cooktops, buildings and more, while our spodumene is a key component for glass, ceramics and metallurgical applications, helping to increase ceramic body strength, improve coating viscosity, color, strength and luster. 

The addition of lithium carbonate and/or spodumene in the manufacturing of glass, enamels and glazes have these advantages:

  • lowers firing temperatures and reduces thermal expansion 
  • increases durability and corrosion resistance 
  • increases thermal shock resistance
  • increases strength of ceramic bodies
  • improves viscosity for coating, as well as improving the glaze’s color, strength and luster

Whether lithium carbonate or spodumene is used depends on the specific needs of the application. In lithium carbonate the amount of Lithia is around 40%, whereas Albemarle’s spodumene concentrates contain up to 7.2% lithium oxide (lithia) and has a low impurity profile.


Lithia is lithium oxide released from either lithium carbonate or spodumene. Adding lithia increases glass melt rate, and lowers the viscosity and the melt temperature, resulting in:


  • Process productivity increased by a higher output
  • Energy savings and molding benefits
  • Improved mechanical and optical properties
  • Enhanced strength, durability and brilliance of the glass


Common applications include optical products, container glass, flat glass, pharmaceutical glass, specialty glass and fiberglass. Lithia is also used in glass-ceramic cooktops where no thermal expansion and thermal resistance is essential.

Other lithium salts such as chloride, fluoride, phosphate, silicate or sulfate are used in specific applications.


Cesium & Rubidium

Various forms of cesium (cesium nitrate, cesium carbonate and cesium bicarbonate) are used to modify the refractive index of optical glass and to resist corrosion or breakage for glass surfaces. Rubidium carbonate is applied in glass lenses used in night vision devices.


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