Erbium

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Erbium is a chemical element in the lanthanide series, with symbol Er and atomic number 68.

Properties

Chemical

Erbium metal tarnishes slowly in air and burns readily to form erbium(III) oxide:

4 Er + 3 O2 → 2 Er2O3

Erbium will slowly react with cold water, but the reaction occurs much faster in hot water.

Physical

Erbium is a silvery-white malleable metal. It is stable in air, and does not oxidize as quickly as some other rare-earth metals. Erbium is ferromagnetic below 19 K, antiferromagnetic between 19 and 80 K and paramagnetic above 80 K.

Availability

Erbium can be purchased online. Metallium sells erbium coins.

Preparation

Erbium can be prepared by reducing its oxide or salts with calcium at 1450 °C under argon atmosphere.

Er2O3 + 3 Ca → 2 Er + 3 CaO

Projects

Handling

Safety

Erbium's toxicity is similar to that of other lanthanides.

Storage

In closed bottles, away from moisture and corrosives vapors.

Disposal

Best to try to recycle it.

References

Relevant Sciencemadness threads