Are you aware that there is a group of elements in the periodic table that is referred to as Rare Earth Elements or REE? These elements are composed of the fifteen lanthanides elements in the periodic table plus the elements of scandium and yttrium.
In this website, we aim to provide you with information on these elements, their properties and their significance. The entire point is to showcase to you why it is important to study these REEs.
First off, it is vital to understand that while REEs are named as such, they are not in fact rare as their name implies. REEs are actually abundant in the earth’s surface. You may not even realize it but you might have encountered REEs in the places you go to, even in your homes, your front yard or just outside your contemporary garage door in Wichita.
Rare earth elements are composed of the following:
Sc – Scandium
Y – Yttrium
La – Lanthanum
Ce – Cerium
Pr – Praseodymium
Nd – Neodymium
Pm – Promethium
Sm – Samarium
Eu – Europium
Gd – Gadolinium
Tb – Terbium
Dy – Dysprosium
Ho – Holmium
Er – Erbium
Tm – Thulium
Yb – Ytterbium
Lu – Lutetium
Know that these elements are very important in powering technology. In fact, the Japanese refer to these as “seeds of technology” while the U.S. Department of Energy dubs them as “technology metals.” These elements are crucial in the technological world, being used in electronics, green energy, telecommunications, medical technologies and even defense systems.
Rare earths have two types of classification – you have the light group rare earth element or the LREE and the heavy group rare earth element or the HREE. The classification of rare earths are important as its electronic configurations and individual properties actually affect how they interact with other elements or compounds.
REEs were discovered in 1787 by Carl Axel Arrhenius who found the mineral ytterbite, which was later renamed as gadolinite, in Sweden. Then, a professor called Johan Gadolin was able to examine the mineral and was able to yield the element yttria.
Currently, China is the largest producer of rare earths. This has been the case since the 1990s because the country offers rare earths at extremely low prices. In fact, 95 percent of the current rare earths production come from China.
At the same time, China is also the biggest consumer of rare earths, using it for their production and manufacture of electronics.
This particular website aims to provide you with all the information you need to know what rare earths are and to understand their uses and importance. This is significant considering the value of these elements to technology. The goal is that you truly understand what these elements are for so that you will be guided on how it can truly help revolutionize the world and further improve current technologies.
If you require more information about rare earths, do not hesitate to let us know through the Contact Us tab. We will always be happy to help you as we endeavor to generate more awareness on these wonderful elements.