By Kayley Eshleman
Uses of Ytterbium
History of Ytterbium
- Ytterbium is stable, but it is treated like it is toxic and is kept in closed containers to protect it from moisture and air.
- It is a suspected teratogen and can irritate skin and eyes.
- Metallic ytterbium dust can be a hazard for fire and explosions.
- Ytterbium is mainly found in the mineral monazite, (shown at right) and is extracted by ion exchange and solvent extraction.
- Ytterbium is a rare earth element which is commercially recovered from monazite sand. It is mainly mined in China, the U.S., Brazil, India, Sri Lanka, and Australia.
- About 50 tonnes of ytterbium are produced each year.
Element Card: Gray, Theodore W. (2008). The Photographic Card Deck of the Elements.
Elements Book: Gray, Theodore W. (2009). The Elements: A visual exploration of every known atom in the universe. New York: Black Dog & Leventhal Publishers, Inc.
Royal Society of Chemistry Periodic Table: http://www.rsc.org/periodic-table/element/70/ytterbium
Los Alamos National Lab Periodic Table: http://periodic.lanl.gov/70.shtml