UNIVERSITI MALAYSIA PAHANG FACULTY OF INDUSTRIAL SCIENCES AND TECHNOLOGY BSK 3163 INORGANIC CHEMISTRY PROCESS ASSIGNMENT 1 ENVIRONMENTAL EFFECTS ON RECYCLING OF RARE EARTH ELEMENT (NEODYMIUM ELEMENT)NAME : NURUL NAJWA BTE MUSTAFASTUDENT ID : SA10100LECTURER NAME : PROF DR MOHD RIDZUAN BIN NORDINDATE OF SUBMISSION : 29 OCTOBER 2012
Rare Earth Metal (Neodymium, Nd) Rare earth metal is the chemical element that is categorize in lanthanide andactinoids series in periodic table. This rare earth metals consists 17 elements (57-71 inperiodic table) where two elements from this rare earth is come from group 3 (transitionmetal elements) that are Scandium (Sc) and Yttrium (Y). These two elements are consideredto be rare earth metal due to their similar chemical properties and occur in the samedeposits as lanthanides. The major elements used in industries are Cerium (Ce), followed byLanthanum (La) and Neodymium (Nd). Others are Praseodymium (Pr), Yttrium (Y),Samarium (Sm), Europium (Eu), Gadolinium (Gd), and Erbium (Er). Neodymium (Nd) is a silvery metal which pollute the environment usually airpollution. It has atomic number of 60. Basically, Neodymium is not found in pure form orunmixed with other lanthanides elements mainly monazite and bastnaesite. It was secondmost abundant elements that are found as rare earth in the world but the bulk production atChina. Not only that, Neodymium is a very reactive rare earth metal and considered asmoderately toxic. That is why Neodymium is quickly tarnished with air and the coated formdoes not protect the metal from being oxidize, so it must be stored carefully and make sureno air interrupt. Usually, it stored in mineral oils. Besides, it reacts slowly with cold water butrapidly react with heat. Below shows the chemical reaction of the Neodymium elements: 4 Nd + 3 O2 2 Nd2O3 That is a general reaction if Neodymium reacts with air. The reaction tells that theelement is quite electropositive. Neodymium also rapidly reacts with hot water. The reactionbelow is between Neodymium and hot water to become a Neodymium Hydroxide. 2 Nd (s) + 6 H2O (l) 2 Nd (OH)3 (aq) + 3 H2 (g) Inspite, Neodymium plays important roles in many industries especially in magnetindustries. The magnets are used in television, cell phones, computer, medical equipment,toys, wind turbines and many more. The reaction of Neodymium with other rare metals suchas Yttrium and Aluminium called Neodymium-doped Yttrium Aluminium garnet, Nd.YAG.This element used as a crystal in laser normally to treat skin cancer in medical application.Recycling of this element can be done by many processes such as mining, beneficiation(grinding, floatation, thickening, separation and drying), extraction (hydrometallurgy,electrometallurgy and pyrometallury) and reduction (for high purity alloy).
Even Neodymium play important roles in many industries, it has severaldisadvantages in environmental effects. Due to its properties which are moderately toxic,their salt and dust can irritate the eyes although our body contains a little amount of thiselement. Not only that, their gases and damps can affect human lung especially long termexposure. It also can damage human liver when it accumulates to human body.Furthermore, this environment is mostly dangerous for those who are working in Neodymiummining industry. As a conclusion, Neodymium might be an important element without environmentalissue if precaution for the worker is increased.
References :1) http://www.azom.com/article.aspx?ArticleID=15952) http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/neoduymium3) Schuler, D. (2011). Study of Rare Earth Elements. Institute for applied ecology, Europe.4) Sullivan, R. (2011). Rare Earth Metal. Retrieved from http://resourceinvestingnews.com/ 20506-us-military-depending-on-china-for-rare-earths.html