Lanthanum Reduction

Chemical Formula: La
Present as:

Lanthanum is a soft, ductile, silvery-white metallic chemical element with symbol La and atomic number 57. It tarnishes rapidly when exposed to air and is soft enough to be cut with a knife. Lanthanum is the lightest of the rare earth elements. The usual oxidation state is +3. Lanthanum has no biological role and is not very toxic.
Lanthanum usually occurs together with cerium and the other rare earth elements. Lanthanum was first found by the Swedish chemist Carl Gustav Mosander in 1839 as an impurity in cerium nitrate – hence the name lanthanum, from the Ancient Greek λανθάνειν (lanthanein), meaning “to lie hidden”. Although it is classified as a rare earth element, lanthanum is the 28th most abundant element in the Earth’s crust, almost three times as abundant as lead. In minerals such as monazite and bastnäsite, lanthanum composes about a quarter of the lanthanide content. It is extracted from those minerals by a process of such complexity that pure lanthanum metal was not isolated until 1923.
Unlike cerium and other rare earths, lanthanum does not form complexes with HCl. Lanthanum compounds are used as catalysts and in a variety of specialty applications including adsorbents for contaminants such as arsenic.

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