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Scandium (Sc): Fun Facts And Information About The Element

What is the symbol? Sc
What is the atomic number? 21
What is the atomic weight? 44.9559
What is the melting point in Celsius?1539
What is the boiling point in Celsius?2832
What is the density (g/cm3)? 2.99
What year was it discovered? 1879
Who discovered the element? Lars Fredrik Nilson
What group is the element in? 3
What is the electron configuration? [Ar] 3d1 4s2
What is the ionization energy? 6.5615
What element category is it in? Transition Elements

Where Is Scandium Found?

Scandium is widely distributed on earth, occurring in very minute quantities in over 800 mineral species. The blue color of beryl is said to be due to scandium. It occurs as a principal component in the rare mineral thortveitite. It is also found in the residues remaining after the extraction of tungsten from Zinnwald wolframite, and in wiikite and bazzite.

Most scandium is presently being recovered from thortveitite or is extracted as a by-product from uranium mill tailings. Pure scandium is now produced by reducing scandiumfluoride with calcium metal. The production of the first pound of 99% pure scandium metal was announced in 1960.

What Is Scandium Used For?

About 20 kg of scandium are used yearly in the U.S. to produce high-intensity lights. The radioactive isotope 46Sc is used as a tracing agent in refinery crackers for crude oil. Scandium iodide added to mercury vapor lamps produces a highly efficient light source resembling sunlight, which is important for indoor or night-time color TV.