Lithium, the lightest of all solids, is an alkali metal found on every continent. But the most economic form of lithium, spodumene, is found in the greatest abundance in North Carolina from Lincolnton to Bessemer City. Lithium is used to make everyday items such as wash machines, refrigerators, eyeglass lenses, automobile headlights, and air conditioning systems, to name a few. It is also used in medicine as a tranquilizer. Lithium might be used as a super fuel someday, but in the 1980s the systems to harness its energy were slow to develop.