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Element Lutetium, Lu, Lanthanide


Carl Gustav Mosander split yttria earth into three new elements, yttria proper, erbia, and terbia; In 1878 Marignac split terbia in two new earths, terbia proper and ytterbia. Then Marignac's ytterbia, in turn, was split by Nilson in 1879 into scandia and a new ytterbia. Finally, after a long break Nilson's ytterbia was separated by Georges Urbain and, somewhat later, Baron Carl Auer von Welsbach, in 1907 reported of splitting it into neoytterbia and lutetia, with the elements neoytterbium and lutetium. Auer von Welsbach proposed for these elements the names aldebaranium and cassiopeium. The International Commission on Atomic approved the name Lutetium for the element 71 and Ytterbium for the element 70. Urbain named the element after Lutetia Parisorum, the Latin name for Paris.


Lanthanide Lutetium is a rare element with crustal abundance 8x10-5 mass % and 1.2x10-6 mg/L in sea water. Along with other rare earth elements it is contained in xenotime, fergusonite (bragite), and other yttrium minerals. The industrially significant minerals are xenotime, euxenite and bastnasite.


While rare earth elements separation lutetium concentrates with the fraction of the heaviest lanthanides.

From REE mixture lutetium can be extracted by ion-exchange chromatography. Lutetium metal is produced via LuF3 reduction by calcium.


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