Lutetium metal 99.9% piece

Lutetium.JPG
Lutetium.JPG

Lutetium metal 99.9% piece

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Lutetium is the most expensive element in the Lanthanides row of the periodic table. This is in part due to its rarity. A hundred pounds of monazite, its chief ore, yield several dozen pounds worth of a cocktail of those rare earth elements.... but just a gram or two of exotic Lu. But more than that it's the sheer difficulty of extricating it from its rare earth buddies with whom it's always found. And of all the REs lutetium is the most difficult to separate with there being literally hundreds of steps to get from the raw ore to the finished metal at a purity of 99.95%. Let's say that again, hundreds of steps! That's why it's so damn expensive.

So seeing that the metal is so difficult to isolate why does anyone even bother? Well, thankfully some genius chemist discovered that a mixture of lutetium and aluminum yielded a transparent ceramic. What, exactly, is a see-through porcelain good for (as opposed to, you know, ordinary glass) might be an indelicate question to pose those who revel in the abstract sciences rather than something as base as commercial needs but - there we have it. A unique property that someone somewhere found and that's all the reason needed to make us a nice batch o' lutetium!

CAS 7439-94-3

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