Posts Tagged ‘Rare Earth Element’

Gadolinium: Neutron-Absorbing Rare Earth Element

Presented by Lynas Corporation

At number 64 on the periodic table that charts the known chemical elements, gadolinium is a member of the lanthanide series of rare earth metals. A lustrous silver-white in color, it is stretchable, malleable, and fairly stable when exposed to air. Gadolinium is naturally found as an admixture of half a dozen of its isotopes, in the form of salts, and as an oxide. It is the sole lanthanide element to exhibit ferromagnetic properties at a normal range of temperatures, being paramagnetic above 68 degrees Fahrenheit and extremely magnetic at cooler temperatures.

Through two of its isotopes, gadolinium absorbs neutrons more efficiently than any other known element. It has therefore been used in the rods that control reactions in nuclear power plants and as an additive to nuclear fuel because of its ability to modulate both the first rapid reaction and the subsequent burnout process.

In the latter part of the 19th century, two independent European chemists isolated the oxide of gadolinium. Its name honors Finnish scientist Johan Gadolin, who had discovered the first of the rare earth compounds a century before.

Lynas Corporation Ltd. operates a rare earth mining operation in western Australia and an advanced materials plant through its subsidiary, Lynas Malaysia Sdn. Bhd. The company aims to be a leader in providing a reliable, mine-to-market supply of rare earth metals and in social responsibility within its local communities.