Understanding the Rare Earths
92 — that’s how many elements nature needs to make everything. Elements like
oxygen, nitrogen, and carbon are familiar and easy to get; others, like rare
earth metals and gold, are not. [Company Name] works diligently to extract and
process the rare earth elements so vital to modern industry and civilization.
rare earth metallic elements, numbers 57 to 71 on the periodic table, are
separated into two categories. This includes the soft metallic elements of the
lanthanide series along with yttrium (Y) and scandium (Sc). The first 14
elements are considered in the lanthanide series because they have many of the
same properties as lanthanum (La)
is a list describing the 17 rare earth elements and some of their uses.
Lanthanum is a soft, silver-white metal,
prone to oxidation and often found in rocks containing monazite and bastnasite,
usually in combination with cerium or other metals in the lanthanide series.
[Company Name] uses specialized equipment to extract the lanthanum for
industrial applications and electronic component manufacturing.
Similar to lanthanum (La), cerium is found
in combination with other rare earth elements and with uranium in samarskite.
Cerium is useful in the manufacture of mantles for gas lanterns and refractory
A lanthanide, dysprosium is similar to
other series elements and is difficult to locate and extract. It is a component
in an oxide-nickel cement used in making nuclear reactor cooling rods.
Also in the lanthanide series, erbium has
little to distinguish it from the other members of the series. The element is
commonly used to color glass and sometimes as part of laser skin smoothing
Similar in appearance to lead, europium is
the most reactive lanthanide element and is useful in manufacturing CRT
A silver-white rare earth metal,
gadolinium is ferromagnetic and slightly reactive. It is typically used in magnets
In the lanthanide series, holmium is
reactive to moisture and temperature. It is now used in manufacturing surgical
Lutetium is the hardest part of the
lanthanide series and is useful for catalytic processes in the petrochemical
industry and for the treatment of cancer.
Neodymium is useful in the manufacture of
powerful magnets and certain types of specialty glass. In the lanthanide
series, it is commonly extracted from monazite.
This soft rare earth metal has practical
applications in aircraft manufacturing, studio lighting, and powerful magnets.
This lanthanide also enables welding goggles to filter out yellow light
and infrared radiation.
Promethium is a radioactive lanthanide
metal used in research and sometimes in atomic batteries. Not found in nature,
making it requires irradiation of other lanthanide elements.
This silvery-white lanthanide is used in
the manufacture of powerful magnets and as a doping element for optical lasers.
Scandium is a rare earth metal that burns
quickly and is reactive to water. Aluminum-scandium alloys appear in aircraft
and sporting equipment. Scandium is used to make special lighting for film and
You can find this soft white lanthanide
certain useful alloys and low-energy lighting. Another widespread use for the
element is in the magnets used for loudspeakers.
Thulium is a soft, silver-gray lanthanide
metal not often used commercially due to insufficient availability and high
This soft silvery lanthanide is finding
more commercial uses in memory storage devices and as an industrial catalyst
due to its low toxicity.
This soft rare earth metal is used in
manufacturing and as an element in useful alloys. Commonly used in CRT screens,
it produces the color red. When added to other elements, yttrium finds
use in lasers, camera lenses, and some cancer treatments.