Scandium Facts

Scandium Facts
Scandium (Sc) has an atomic number of twenty-one. This member of the transition elements group is a silver-white that has been historically categorized as a rare earth element.
Interesting Scandium Facts:
Scandium was discovered in 1879 by Lars Fredrik Nilson, who named it after Scandinavia.
Its existence was originally predicted by Dmitri Mendeleev ten years before.
Despite the discovery, 99.9% pure scandium wasn't isolated until 1960.
Despite its silvery color, it tarnishes to a yellowish or pinkish color in air.
Scandium is the fiftieth most abundant element on Earth, but is the 23rd most abundant element in the Sun.
It is found in the Earth's crust at between eighteen and twenty-five parts per million.
Despite is prevalence in the crust, scandium is spread thinly throughout various minerals.
The only natural occurence of scandium is the isotope Sc-45.
It has thirteen radioisotopes.
Most of scandium's radioactive isotopes have half-lives of less than two minutes.
Industrial uses for scandium are limited, as there are no reliable, safe large-scale methods of producing large quantities of scandium.
One of its chief purposes is to combine with aluminum into an alloy used for high-performance equipment, especially by the aerospace industry.
Scandium has other uses in a variety of compounds.
Only three mines currently extract scandium from ore.
Within those mines, scandium is actually a byproduct of the mining of other elements, with the end result being scandium oxide.
Only around 20 kg of scandium oxide is used each year in the US to make discharge lamps.
Another 80 kg of scandium is used each year to make halide lamps.
Scandium is not thought to be poisonous, but due to limited testing on live animals, it should be handled carefully in all of its compounds.

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