Rare Earth Products
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Rare Earths
Scandium
Yttrium
Lanthanum
Cerium
Praseodymium
Neodymium
Samarium
Europium
Gadolinium
Terbium
Dysprosium
Holmium
Erbium
Thulium
Ytterbium
Lutetium
We supply to over 30 countries worldwide, and hold regular stock of common Rare Earth oxides, metals & compounds. For research and samples, we offer prompt delivery to USA, Japan, Korea and fast delivery for the EU & rest of the world.
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Home > Frequently asked questions
Frequently asked questions
Abbreviated words in Rare Earth industry:
RE = Rare Earth
REM = Rare Earth metals
REE = Rare Earth elements
REO = Rare Earth oxides
REY = Rare Earth elements and yttrium
LREE = Light Rare Earth elements (Sc, La, Ce, Pr, Nd)
MREE = Medium Rare Earth elements (Sm, Eu, Gd, Y, Tb, Dy)
HREE = Heavy Rare Earth elements (Ho, Er, Tm, Yb, and Lu)
TREO = Total Rare Earth Oxide
TREM = Total Rare Earth Metal
L. O. I. = Loss on ignition
What is Rare Earth?
Rare Earth is a group of 17 elements including 15 lanthanides (La, Ce, Pr, Nd, Pm, Sm, Eu, Gd, Tb, Dy, Ho, Er, Tm, Yb and Lu) located in the bottom of the Periodic Table from atomic number 57 to 71, and Sc numbered 21 and Y numbered 39. Scandium and yttrium are considered rare earth elements because they tend to occur in the same ore deposits as the lanthanides and exhibit similar chemical properties.
Which elements included in Rare Earth?
Rare Earth elements include Sc, Y, La, Ce, Pr, Nd, Sm, Eu, Gd, Tb, Dy, Ho, Er, Tm, Yb and Lu. Among them, Sc, La, Ce, Pr, Nd are light Rare Earth elementsp; Sm, Eu, Gd, Y, Tb, Dy are medium Rare Earth elements; and Ho, Er, Tm, Yb, Lu are heavy Rare Earth elements.
How about the Rare Earth resources around the world?
Rare earth was first found by a Finnish scientist Gadolin in 1794 and he named it Rare Earth, Actually they are neither rare like gold or earths like magnesium or calcium. The proven reserves have reached 100 million tons REO, its present annual consumption is 75,000 tons of REO.
Rare earth resources mainly exist in China, Northern America, Russia, India and Australia as mineral forms in nature. The most common minerals are bastnasite and monazite, both of them are rich in light rare earth. Xenotime and ion-adsorption clay minerals are the major source for heavy rare earth, especially in ion-adsorption clay minerals, which are only found in the south of China.
What is the global situation of rare earth supply?
Until 1948, most of the world's rare earths were sourced from placer sand deposits in India and Brazil. Through the 1950s, South Africa took the status as the world's rare earth source, after large veins of rare earth bearing monazite were discovered there. Through the 1960s until the 1980s, the Mountain Pass rare earth mine in California was the leading producer. Today, the Indian and South African deposits still produce some rare earth concentrates, but they are dwarfed by the scale of Chinese production. In 2010, China produced over 95% of the world's rare earth supply, All of the world's heavy rare earths (such as dysprosium) come from Chinese rare earth sources.
In several years from 2009 worldwide demand for rare earth elements is expected to exceed supply by 40,000 tonnes annually unless major new sources are developed.
How to understand the purity of Rare Earth?
The purity of rare earth product is a relative purity. In rare earth industry, chemical purities of rare earth oxides and compounds are often presented on rare earth oxide basis (REO basis). Take Ytterbium Oxide 99.9999% for example, the 99.9999% purity means Yb2O3/TREO is 99.9999%. Other rare earth compounds and metals are the same, for example, Cerium Carbonate 99.9%, it means that CeO2/TREO is 99.9%. And the chemical purities of rare earth metals are often presented on rare earth metal basis (REM basis), e.g. Gadolinium Metal 99.99%, it means that Gd/TREM is 99.99%.
How is the production for Rare Earth materials?
Rare Earth elements are all very similar as there is little difference in the outer electron configuration, so their separation is difficult, there are two principal methods for separating Rare Earth chemicals, solvent extraction and ion exchange, purities up to 99.999% can be obtained with either technique.
Rare Earth metals are generally produced by vacuum calciothermic reduction of a Rare Earth salts, usually as fluorides or as chloride. For Samarium, Europium, Ytterbium and Thulium, which due to their low boiling points are distilled in argon atmosphere. Electrolytic techniques may also be used to produce the Lanthanum, Cerium, Praseodymium, Neodymium and Mischmetal. This technique is cost effective only at relatively large production volumes. Re-melting and multi-distillation are also applied for the production of high purity Rare Earth metals.
Can I ask for a special specification?
Yes, we have the capacity to manufacture materials according to customer's request. If you have detailed specification requirement, please feel free to let us know, we will check and try our best to meet the requirement.
I only need few quantity of the product for research purpose, can I order as a sample?
Yes, of course. We can offer flexible solutions to meet different customers requirement and different applications. You can simply let us know your detailed requirement on the product and quantity, then our sales person will offer the most favorable conditions for you.
How quick can the products be delivered?
Generally we have our regular products in stock and the products can be ready for delivery promptly. For ocean and air shipment, it will take a few more days to arrange the CIQ inspection and custom clearance, etc. And for smaller quantites via express couirer, the dispatch can be done promptly to USA, Japan, Korea and most EU countries. For more specific delivery time, please consult our sales person in details.
What kind of packing can I have for the products ordered?
We have flexible and specialized packings for different products. Normally we have drums of 25kg, 50kg, 250kg net with inner sealed plastic bags, depending on density and the products value, mainly for Rare Earth chemicals and metals; boxes of 20kg net with inner sealed plastic bags for our Cerium Oxide Polishing Powder; bags of 25kg, 50kg, 500kg, 1,000kg net for some light Rare Earth compounds with lower purities, i. e. Cerium Carbonate, Cerium Oxide, Lanthanum Chloride, Lanthanum Oxide, etc.
Can I have the MSDS for some of the Rare Earth products?
Yes, we have the MSDS documents ready for our customers. If you are interested in some of our products, please send inquiries to us and mention your request on MSDS, our people will provide the document upon request.
Can I ask for a special reduction on some individual impurities?
Yes, we can arrange further processing on reducing some individual impurities critical to customer's application, such as Fe, Si, Ca, etc. If you have detailed requirement on the chemical composition, please feel free to contact us, our technicians will check and offer the best possibilities.
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