Gadolinium

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Gadolinium is a lanthanide with the symbol Gd and atomic number 64.

Properties

Chemical

Gadolinium, like all of the lanthanides, is quite electropositive. It dissolves in acids weak and strong without hesitation.

Physical

Gadolinium is a silvery metal. At room temperature and above, it is strongly paramagnetic, but below that temperature, it is ferromagnetic.

Availability

Gadolinium metal can be bought from Metallium.

Preparation

It is possible to produce gadolinium through thermite with lithium metal or electrolysis of anhydrous gadolinium chloride, but this is impractical. Considering the low availability of gadolinium compounds in general, it is more feasible to simply buy the metal.

Projects

  • Demonstrate the Curie point

Handling

Safety

Like all of the lanthanides, not much research has gone into their toxicity, though they are all believed to be minimally toxic. Due to the lack of knowledge, care should be taken with gadolinium compounds and gloves should be worn. Gadolinium metal itself poses little health hazard and can be handled by hand safely without the risk of poisoning or damaging the sample.

Storage

In closed bottles away from moisture and any corrosive vapors.

Disposal

Best to try to recycle it.

References

Relevant Sciencemadness threads

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