Rare earth metal is a general term for 17 elements of scandium, yttrium and lanthanide in group IIIB of the periodic table of elements, and is often represented by R or RE. Rare earth elements include scandium (Sc), yttrium (Y), lanthanum (La), cerium (Ce), praseodymium (Pr), neodymium (Nd), promethium (Pm), samarium (Sm), europium (Eu), gadolinium ( Gd), terbium (Tb), dysprosium (Dy), holmium (Ho), erbium (Er), thulium (Tm), ytterbium (Yb), and lutetium (Lu). Rare earth elements have excellent magnetic, optical and electrical properties, play an important role in improving product performance and optimizing product structure, and are widely used in chemical metallurgy, petrochemical, ceramic production, glass industry, agricultural production and new materials and other fields.
Figure 1. Rare earth metal elements are widely used in industrial production, metal smelting, agricultural production and glass production and other fields
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The purity of the rare earth metal has a significant impact on performance. Most rare earth metals exhibit paramagnetism, such as gadolinium, terbium, dysprosium, holmium, and erbium. The chemical activity of rare earth metals is very strong, and they lose their metallic luster at room temperature and are easily oxidized into rare earth oxides. Rare earth metals can react with water to varying degrees. Rare earth metals can react with boron, carbon, sulfur, phosphorus, hydrogen, and nitrogen to form corresponding compounds. Rare earth metal alloys such as lanthanum-nickel alloy (LaNi5) have the ability to absorb a large amount of hydrogen and are good hydrogen storage materials.
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