10 Interesting Facts about Yttrium

Those who observer and study science may have known these following facts about yttrium since it’s very important, both for the body and for the world. Yttrium, as some people know, is a chemical element with symbol Y and atomic number 39. It is a silvery-metallic transition metal chemically similar to the lanthanides and it has often been classified as a “rare earth element”. To get to know more about it, here are other facts about yttrium you may consider useful.

Facts about yttrium 1: Discovery

In 1787, Carl Axel Arrhenius found a new mineral near Ytterby in Sweden and named it “ytterbite”, after the village. Johan Gadolin discovered yttrium’s oxide in Arrhenius’ sample in 1789, and Anders Gustaf Ekeberg named the new oxide “yttria”. Elemental yttrium was first isolated in 1828 by Friendrich Wohler.

Facts about yttrium 2: Similarities to Lanthanides

The similarities of yttrium to the lanthanides are so strong that the element has historically been grouped with them as a rare earth element, and is always found in nature together with them in rare earth minerals.

Facts about yttrium - Yttrium

Facts about yttrium – Yttrium

Facts about yttrium 3: Compounds and Reactions

As a trivalent transition metal, yttrium forms various inorganic compounds, generally in the oxidation state of +3, by giving up all three of its valence electrons.

Facts about yttrium 4: Abundance

Yttrium is found in most rare earth minerals, as well as some uraniun ores, but is never found in nature as a free element. About 31 ppm of the Earth’s crust is yttrium, making it the 28th most abundant element there, and 400 times more common than silver.

Facts about yttrium - A piece of yttrium

Facts about yttrium – A piece of yttrium

Facts about yttrium 5: Material Enhancer

Small amounts of yttrium (0.1 to 0.2%) have been used to reduce the grain sizes of chromium, molybdenum, titanium and zirconium. It is also used to increase the strength of aluminium and magnesium alloys.

Facts about yttrium 6: Medical

The radioactive isotope yttrium-90 is used in drugs such as Yttrium Y 90-DOTA-try3-octreotide and Yttrium Y 90 ibritumomab tiuxetan for the treatment of various cancers, including lymphoma, leukemia, ovarian, colorectal, pancreatic, and bone cancers.

Facts about yttrium - Johan Gadolin

Facts about yttrium – Johan Gadolin

Facts about yttrium 7: Precautions

Water soluble compounds of yttrium are considered mildly toxic, while its insoluble compounds are non-toxic. In experiments on animals, yttrium and its compounds caused lung and liver damage, though toxicity varies with different yttrium compounds.

Facts about yttrium 8: Places

The earth’s crust is made up of about thirty-one parts per million yttrium. Elemental yttrium is never found in nature. However, it is sometimes found in most of the rare earth minerals.

Facts about yttrium - Symbol

Facts about yttrium – Symbol

Facts about yttrium 9: Danger

Yttrium is mostly dangerous in the working environment, due to the fact that damps and gasses can be inhaled with air. This can cause lung embolisms, especially during long-term exposure.

Facts about yttrium 10: Disease

Yttrium can also cause cancer with humans, as it enlarges the chances of lung cancer when it is inhaled. Finally, it can be a threat to the liver when it accumulates in the human body.

Facts about yttrium - Xenotime crystal contained yttrium

Facts about yttrium – Xenotime crystal contained yttrium

Hopefully those who are doing some research about yttrium would find these yttrium facts really useful and interesting.

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