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Metals are part of our modern lives and we must think sustainability through a process: Extraction-Integration-Recycling.

Yttrium (associated metal)

Name

Yttrium

Symbol

Y

Atomic number

39

Group

 

Subgroup

 

Occurrence / Extraction

Yttrium occurs in most rare earth minerals.

Extraction:  pure metal can be obtained by combining another compound of yttrium, yttrium fluoride (YF3), with calcium metal at high temperatures

Use


One of the important new uses for yttrium is in superconductors(certain metals cooled to nearly absolute zero( -273°C) lost all resistance to an electric current.

Some of the many applications of yttrium include in ceramics for crucibles for molten reactive metals, in florescent lighting phosphors, computer displays and automotive fuel consumption sensors.

Yttria stabilized zirconium oxide are used in high temperature applications, such as in thermal plasma sprays to protect aerospace high temperature surfaces.

Crystals of the yttrium-iron-garnet (YIG) variety are essential to microwave communication equipment.

Lasers. one of the most widely used lasers today is the yttrium-aluminum-garnet (YAG) Laser.

Properties


Yttrium has a bright, silvery surface, like most other metals. It is also prepared as a dark gray to black powder with little shine. The chemical properties of yttrium are similar to those of the rare earth elements. It reacts with cold water slowly, and with hot water very rapidly. It dissolves in both acids and alkalis (chemical opposite of an acid). Yttrium has the highest thermo-dynamic affinity for oxygen of any element, this characteristic is the basis for many of its applications. While not part of the rare earth series, it resembles the heavy rare earths which are sometimes referred to as the yttrics for this reason.

Atomic mass: 88.91 g.mol -1
Electronegativity according to Pauling:  1.3
Density:  4.46 g.cm-3 at 20°C
Melting point: 1523 °C
Boiling point:  3337 °C
 
Named after Ytterby, a village in Sweden

Relative abundance

Yttrium is a moderately abundant element in the Earth's crust. Its abundance is estimated to be about 28 to 70 parts per million. That makes yttrium about as abundant as cobalt, copper, and zinc. >>Rocks brought back from the Moon have a high yttrium content.

atomic mass (g.mol -1)

88.91

density (g/cm3)

4.46

Oxydation number

 +3

Melting point (°C)

1523

Boiling point (°C)

3337

Magnetic moment

 

Abundance in the Earth's crust ( ppm)

28

discovery

Johan Gadolin (FI) in 1794.