|Name, symbol, number||lanthanum, La, 57|
|Group, period, block||n/a, 6, f|
|Standard atomic weight||138.90547 g·mol−1|
|Electron configuration||[Xe] 5d1 6s2|
|Electrons per shell||2, 8, 18, 18, 9, 2 (Image)|
|Density (near r.t.)||6.162 g·cm−3|
|Liquid density at m.p.||5.94 g·cm−3|
|Melting point||1193 K, 920 °C, 1688 °F|
|Boiling point||3737 K, 3464 °C, 6267 °F|
|Heat of fusion||6.20 kJ·mol−1|
|Heat of vaporization||402.1 kJ·mol−1|
|Specific heat capacity||(25 °C) 27.11 J·mol−1·K−1|
|Vapor pressure (extrapolated)|
|Oxidation states||3, 2 (strongly basic oxide)|
|Electronegativity||1.10 (Pauling scale)|
|Ionization energies||1st: 538.1 kJ·mol−1|
|2nd: 1067 kJ·mol−1|
|3rd: 1850.3 kJ·mol−1|
|Atomic radius||187 pm|
|Covalent radius||207±8 pm|
|Electrical resistivity||(r.t.) (α, poly) 615 nΩ·m|
|Thermal conductivity||(300 K) 13.4 W·m−1·K−1|
|Thermal expansion||(r.t.) (α, poly) 12.1 µm/(m·K)|
|Speed of sound (thin rod)||(20 °C) 2475 m/s|
|Young's modulus||(α form) 36.6 GPa|
|Shear modulus||(α form) 14.3 GPa|
|Bulk modulus||(α form) 27.9 GPa|
|Poisson ratio||(α form) 0.280|
|Vickers hardness||491 MPa|
|Brinell hardness||363 MPa|
|CAS registry number||7439-91-0|
|Most stable isotopes|
|Main article: Isotopes of lanthanum|
Lanthanum (pronounced /ˈlænθənəm/) is a chemical element with the symbol La and atomic number 57. Lanthanum is a silvery white metallic element that belongs to group 3 of the periodic table and is a lanthanoid. It is found in some rare-earth minerals, usually in combination with cerium and other rare earth elements. Lanthanum is malleable, ductile, and soft metal, which oxidizes rapidly when exposed to air. It is produced from minerals monazite and bastnäsite using a complex multistage extraction process. Lanthanum compounds have numerous applications such as catalyst, additives in glass, carbon lighting for studio lighting and projection, ignition element in lighters and torches, electron cathode, scintillator, and others. Lanthanum carbonate (La2(CO3)3) was approved as a medication against renal failure.
Lanthanum is soft, malleable, silvery white metal which has hexagonal crystal structure at room temperature. At 310 °C, lanthanum changes to a face-centered cubic structure, and at 865 °C into a body-centered cubic structure. Lanthanum easily oxidizes (complete oxidation of a centimeter-sized sample within a year) and therefore used as element only for research purposes. For example, single La atoms have been isolated by implanting them into fullerene molecules. If carbon nanotubes are filled with those lanthanum-encapsulated fullerenes and annealed, metallic nanochains of lanthanum are produced inside carbon nanotubes.
However, when exposed to moistured air at room temperature, it forms a hydrated oxide with a large volume increase.
Lanthanum is quite electropositive and reacts slowly with cold water and quite quickly with hot water to form lanthanum hydroxide:
Lanthanum metal reacts with all the halogens. The reaction is vigorous if conducted at above 200 °C:
Lanthanum combines with nitrogen, carbon, sulfur, phosphorus, boron, selenium, silicon and arsenic at elevated temperatures, forming binary compounds.
Naturally occurring lanthanum is composed of one stable (139La) and one radioactive (138La) isotope, with the stable isotope, 139La, being the most abundant (99.91% natural abundance). 38 radioisotopes have been characterized with the most stable being 138La with a half-life of 1.05×1011 years, and 137La with a half-life of 60,000 years. Most of the remaining radioactive isotopes have half-lives that are less than 24 hours and the majority of these have half lives that are less than 1 minute. This element also has 3 meta states.
The word lanthanum comes from the Greek λανθανω [lanthanō] = to lie hidden. Lanthanum was discovered in 1839 by Swedish chemist Carl Gustav Mosander, when he partially decomposed a sample of cerium nitrate by heating and treating the resulting salt with dilute nitric acid. From the resulting solution, he isolated a new rare earth he called lantana. Lanthanum was isolated in relatively pure form in 1923.
Lanthanum is the most strongly basic of all the trivalent lanthanides, and this property is what allowed Mosander to isolate and purify the salts of this element. Basicity separation as operated commercially involved the fractional precipitation of the weaker bases (such as didymium) from nitrate solution by the addition of magnesium oxide or dilute ammonia gas. Purified lanthanum remained in solution. (The basicity methods were only suitable for lanthanum purification; didymium could not be efficiently further separated in this manner.) The alternative technique of fractional crystallization was invented by Dmitri Mendeleev, in the form of the double ammonium nitrate tetrahydrate, which he used to separate the less-soluble lanthanum from the more-soluble didymium in the 1870s. This system would be used commercially in lanthanum purification until the development of practical solvent extraction methods that started in the late 1950s. (A detailed process using the double ammonium nitrates to provide 99.99% pure lanthanum, neodymium concentrates and praseodymium concentrates is presented in Callow 1967, at a time when the process was just becoming obsolete.) As operated for lanthanum purification, the double ammonium nitrates were recrystallized from water. When later adapted by Carl Auer von Welsbach for the splitting of didymium, nitric acid was used as solvent to lower the solubility of the system. Lanthanum is relatively easy to purify, since it has only one adjacent lanthanide, cerium, which itself is very readily removed due to its potential tetravalency.
The fractional crystallization purification of lanthanum as the double ammonium nitrate was sufficiently rapid and efficient, that lanthanum purified in this manner was not expensive. The Lindsay Chemical Division of American Potash and Chemical Corporation, for a while the largest producer of rare earths in the world, in a price list dated October 1, 1958 priced 99.9% lanthanum ammonium nitrate (oxide content of 29%) at $3.15 per pound, or $1.93 per pound in 50-pound quantities. The corresponding oxide (slightly purer at 99.99%) was priced at $11.70 or $7.15 per pound for the two quantity ranges. The price for their purest grade of oxide (99.997%) was $21.60 and $13.20, respectively.
Although lanthanum belongs to chemical elements group called rare earth metals, it is not rare at all. Lanthanum is available in relatively large quantities (32 ppm in Earth’s crust). "Rare earths" got their name since they were indeed rare as compared to the "common" earths such as lime or magnesia, and historically only a few deposits were known.
Monazite (Ce, La, Th, Nd, Y)PO4, and bastnäsite (Ce, La, Y)CO3F, are the principal ores in which lanthanum occurs, in percentages of up to 25 to 38 percent of the total lanthanide content. In general, there is more lanthanum in bastnäsite than in monazite. Until 1949, bastnäsite was a rare and obscure mineral, not even remotely contemplated as a potential commercial source for lanthanides. In that year, the vast deposit at Mountain Pass, California was discovered. This discovery alerted geologists as to the existence of a whole new class of rare earth deposit, the rare-earth bearing carbonatite, other examples of which soon surfaced, particularly in Africa and China.
Lanthanum is most commonly obtained from monazite and bastnäsite. The mineral mixtures are crushed and ground. Monazite, because of its magnetic properties can be separated by repeated electromagnetic separation. After separation, it is treated with hot concentrated sulfuric acid to produce water-soluble sulfates of rare earths. The acidic filtrates are partially neutralized with sodium hydroxide to pH 3-4. Thorium precipitates out of solution as hydroxide and is removed. After that the solution is treated with ammonium oxalate to convert rare earths in to their insoluble oxalates. The oxalates are converted to oxides by annealing. The oxides are dissolved in nitric acid that excludes one of the main components, cerium, whose oxide is insoluble in HNO3. Lanthanum is separated as a double salt with ammonium nitrate by crystallization. This salt is relatively less soluble than other rare earth double salts and therefore stays in the residue.
The most efficient separation routine for lanthanum salt from the rare-earth salt solution is however ion exchange. In this process, rare-earth ions are adsorbed onto suitable ion-exchange resin by exchange with hydrogen, ammonium or cupric ions present in the resin. The rare earth ions are then selectively washed out by suitable complexing agent, such as ammonium citrate or nitrilotracetate. Lanthanum can also be separated from solution of rare earth nitrates by liquid-liquid extraction with a suitable organic liquid, such as tributyl phosphalate. Currently, the most widely used extractant for the purification of lanthanum and the other lanthanides is the 2-ethylhexyl ester of 2-ethylhexylphosphonic acid; this has better handling characteristics than the previously used bis-2-ethylhexyl phosphate.
Lanthanum metal is obtained from its oxide by heating it with ammonium chloride or fluoride and hydrofluoric acid at 300-400 °C to produce the chloride or fluoride:
This is followed by reduction with alkali or alkaline earth metals in vacuum or argon atmosphere:
Also pure lanthanum can be produced by electrolysis of molten mixture of anhydrous LaCl3 and NaCl or KCl at elevated temperatures.
The first historical application of lanthanum was in gas lantern mantles. Carl Auer von Welsbach used a mixture of 60% magnesium oxide, 20% lanthanum oxide and 20% yttrium oxide which he called Actinophor, and patented in 1885. The original mantles gave a green-tinted light and were not very successful, and his first company, which established a factory in Atzgersdorf in 1887, failed in 1889.
Modern uses of lanthanum include:
As most of the hybrid cars use nickel-metal hydride batteries, massive quantities of lanthanum are required for the production of hybrid automobiles. A typical hybrid automobile battery for a Toyota Prius requires 10 to 15 kg (22-33 lb) of lanthanum. As engineers push the technology to increase fuel mileage, twice that amount of lanthanum could be required per vehicle.
Lanthanum has no known biological role. The element is not absorbed orally, and when injected its elimination is very slow. Lanthanum carbonate was approved as a medication Fosrenol to absorb excess phosphate in cases of end-stage renal failure.
While lanthanum has pharmacological effects on several receptors and ion channels, its specificity for the GABA receptor is unique among divalent cations. Lanthanum acts at the same modulatory site on the GABA receptor as zinc- a known negative allosteric modulator. The Lanthanum cation La3+ is a positive allosteric modulator at native and recombinant GABA receptors, increasing open channel time and decreasing desensitization in a subunit configuration dependent manner.
Lanthanum has a low to moderate level of toxicity, and should be handled with care. In animals, the injection of lanthanum solutions produces glycaemia, low blood pressure, degeneration of the spleen and hepatic alterations.
(There is currently no text in this page)
Lanthanum is a chemical element. It has the chemical symbol La. It has the atomic number 57. It is part of a group of chemical elements in the periodic table named the Lanthanides. It is a rare earth element. It is silvery white, malleable and ductile. It is soft and can be cut with a knife.