EUROPIUM

Europium’s main use is as a luminescent material providing the red colour on television screens and the LEDs used in flat panel displays, score boards, and “Vegas-style” billboards. An array of colours can be created from europium’s trivalent and divalent compounds, creating reds, greens, and blues, and combined to create white.


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Applications

  • Taggant phosphors with europium are used as anti-forgery marks on the Euro and various currencies.

  • The primary use of europium is in phosphors used in pilot display screens, televisions (reddish-orange), and trichromatic fluorescent lights (reddish-orange and blue).

  • Europium EuB6 absorbs neutrons in fast breeder nuclear reactors to control the fission process.

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Interesting Facts

  • In 1964, the development of a new phosphor Eu:Y2O3, allowed the first true red in colour televisions. Earlier televisions displayed an orange hue.

  • The world’s first major producer of europium oxide for the television industry was Molycorp.

  • Europium is used in anti-counterfeiting fluorescent phosphors in Euro banknotes. The red fluorescence in the Euros is a Eu3+-β-diketone complex.

 

Discovery

In 1890, French chemist Paul E. Lecoq de Boisbaudran, fractionated a samarium-gadolinium concentrate that showed spark spectrum lines that did not match either of these elements. One of his students, French chemist and geologist, Eugène-Anatole Demarçay, constructed an improved induction coil that produced extremely hot, luminous, globular sparks from electrodes of high-purity platinum. The high-purity eliminated the spectral lines from impurities in the electrodes and provided superior spark spectra from the sample to allow the identification of new elements. Demarçay then made a series of extensive fractionations of an impure samarium-magnesium nitrate that resulted in the discovery of a new rare earth, europia, displaying the characteristic sharp spectral lines. Europium is named in honour of the continent of Europe where the element was discovered.



Source

Resources of europium are largely contained in LREE-enriched minerals. Europium occurs in the Earth’s crust at an average concentration of 1 part per million(ppm). Europium is also a constituent in the LREE-mineral monazite which constitutes the second largest segment of rare-earth resources. Monazite deposits are located in Australia, Brazil, China, India, Malaysia, South Africa, Sri Lanka, Thailand, and the United States in paleoplacer and recent placer deposits, sedimentary deposits, veins, pegmatites, carbonatites, and alkaline complexes.

With Hasings’ Yangibana Project we have an average europium content of around 75ppm making it the third largest contributor to the Project income and significantly higher than the average concentration in the earth’s crust.

If you have questions about rare eaths or our Yangibana Project, don’t hesitate to call Charles Tan at +61 457 853 839 or write to charles.tan@hastingstechmetals.com.