Rare Earth Element

Published: 2021-08-03 12:20:06
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Lanthanum is a crucial rare earth element to our modern economy because it plays an integral component in modern technologies such as: laptop computers, electric automobiles, and hand-held electronic devices such as cellular phones. Lanthanum basically acts as a battery source to the above devices modern technologies. Lanthanum is also make glass and lastly to reduce the level of phosphates in patients with kidney disease. Geologists obtain Lanthanum through the process of solvent extraction of light rare earth minerals such as bastnaesite, monazite, allanite and cerite.
Lanthanum is also found in felsic igneous rocks and to a lesser extent, lower ultramafic rocks. Lanthanum has a complex multistage extraction process in which the extraction of monazite is involved. There are three main steps which are implemented in the extraction process. First step is the extraction of lanthanum hydroxide from monazite by using caustic soda, second step is the digestion with nitric acid and precipitation with ammonium hydroxide and the final step is calcination of Lanthanum oxalate to Lanthanum oxide.
The leading producer of REEs in the world is China; they account for more than 48 percent of the world’s REE reserves. More than 70% of light rare earth elements (which includes Lanthanum) are supplied from one mine in China; Bayan Obo mine. China’s stronghold over the REE industry compels us to have good relations with them. Other producers are Brazil, Malaysia and India. There may be other places in the world that may have Lanthanum but they do not use it in a particularly capital intensive way.
For instance high values of Lanthanum (>36 mg kg-1) is found in the sub soils of northern Portugal and Galicia in Spain, in the Italian alkaline magmatic province and in karst of Slovenia and Croatia. Through reasonable diplomatic deliberation the U. S can coerce these countries to allow them to turn their values into a capital intensive industry. Lanthanum plays a crucial role in our economy, however if we cannot find enough of it, we could use cerium as a backup REE. Cerium can also be used as a battery supply and can be used to produce glass similarly to Lanthanum.
Aluminum can be used as a supplementary medicinal element instead of Lanthanum. Aluminum is a common element and it is accessible so the U. S has nothing to worry about as it regards to patients with Kidney problem In order to obtain cerium, the U. S does not need to import cerium from China or any of the other countries that have considerable.

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