Periodic Table -> Praseodymium


Praseodymium Details

Praseodymium Symbol: Pr

Praseodymium Atomic Number: 59

Praseodymium Atomic Weight: 140.907

What is Praseodymium?

Praseodymium (atomic number 59, symbol Pr) is a metal discovered in 1885 by the German inventor, scientist, and chemist Carl Auer von Welsbach. It was in 1931 when the element was isolated in a relatively pure form. Today, the metal is obtained from bastnasite and monazite sand, and the main mining sites and found in the United States, China, and the Commonwealth of Independent States. The top producers of praseodymium are Brazil, Russia, and China. The major producer is China, and the estimated reserves are at about 2 million tonnes.

Solvent extraction and ion exchange are the main methods used to isolate the element. It is also extracted from samarium (III) chloride through calcium reduction. Praseodymium does not occur freely in nature because it is a very reactive element.

Praseodymium is moderately toxic, silvery in color, ductile, and malleable. The element is paramagnetic and has a hexagonal crystal structure. Its Van Der Waals radius is unknown, and its electronegativity according to Pauling is 1.1. Praseodymium has 38 radioisotopes and forms a number of compounds such as bromides, fluorides, oxides, and others. Isotopes of the metal include praseodymium-141, praseodymium-142, and praseodymium-144, which has a half-life of just 7.2 minutes.

Praseodymium is in solid state at room temperature but reacts quickly in water. Similar to other rare-earths, the metal should be sealed in plastic or stored under mineral oil. It is moderately toxic. This element is flammable in the form of fumes, dust, and powder. It forms hydrogen gas with dilute acids and water.

Praseodymium has different industrial applications and is used to make high-strength metals. Its compounds are used to color glass and enamel and for filtering of infrared radiation. Praseodymium oxide is composed of oxygen and praseodymium and is used to block infrared radiation. It is also an oxidation catalyst when used in a ceria-zirconia solution or ceria solution. The compound has application in the production of ceramics (as a coloring agent). It is used for ceramic glazes and glass coloring.
Some torch strikers and lighters also contain small amounts of the element. Mish metal is used for the production of cigarette lighters and contains about 5 percent of praseodymium. Finally, praseodymium is used in the production of household equipment, including energy-saving and fluorescent lamps and color TVs.

The element has no biological role. The insoluble salts of praseodymium are non-toxic while the soluble ones have been found to be mildly toxic when ingested. They irritate the eyes and the skin. The element represents a work hazard. It has been found that long-term exposure to its gases can cause lung embolisms.

Released by petrol-producing facilities, praseodymium enters the environment and accumulates in water soils and soils. This increases the risk for reproductive problems and cell membrane damage. In addition, it has a negative effect on the functioning of the nervous system.

Absorption through the skin is unlikely, but inhalation may cause irritation of the upper respiratory tract. Inhalation and overexposure to praseodymium may aggravate medical conditions such as bronchitis, emphysema, and asthma. It is important to see a doctor if visual changes or irritation occurs. Rinse thoroughly with water and soap in case of skin exposure. Note that antidote is not available. Spills should be disposed of and stored in closed containers.

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