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Element Europium, Eu, Lanthanide

About Europium

Europium is one of the least abundant of the rare earth elements. Monazite sand contains about 0.002 per cent, of europia. Europium has been detected spectroscopically in the chromosphere of the sun and in the stars α-Bootis and β-Geminorum.

Europium compounds are pale pink in colour. Europia was isolated by Demargay, and prepared in a state of purity by Urbain and Lacombe in 1904. Subsequently it has been prepared by James and Robinson.

History of Europium

The story of the new rare earth element discovery was in close conjunction with Lecoq de Boisbaudran spectroscopic research. In 1886 Sir William Crookes via spectroscopic analysis described a new line with wavelength 609 nm. The same new line he observed in the spectrum of ytterbium and samarium earths mixture. Crookes had not identified the new element. In 1892 Lecoq de Boisbaudran received from Kleve 3 g of samarium-gadolinium earth and had obtained basic fractions from concentrates having spark spectral lines not accounted for by samarium or gadolinium and thus by new elements, which he named and . Eugene-Anatole Demarcay separated it in 1901 by fractional crystallization of double magnesium nitrates and in 1896 Demarcay had announced a new element between samarium and gadolinium indicated with Σ; in 1900 he showed that this element was identical with . and Crookes lines. In 1901 he succeeded to separate the element and could get it its name. The element is named after the continent Europe - Europium.

Occurrence of Europium

Lanthanide Europium crustal abundance is 1.3x10-4 mass %, in seawater 1.1x10-6 mg/L. Along with other rare earth elements it is contained in monazite, bastnasite, loparite, and samarskite as well as, in less amounts, is contained in gadolinite, xenotime, euxenite and apatites.


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