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Yttrium (Y): Fun Facts and Information About the Element

What is the symbol? Y
What is the atomic number? 39
What is the atomic weight? 88.9059
What is the melting point in Celsius? 1523
What is the boiling point in Celsius? 3337
What is the density (g/cm3)? 4.47
What year was it discovered? 1794
Who discovered the element? Johan Gadolin
What group is the element in? 3
What is the electron configuration? [Kr] 4d1 5s2
What is the ionization energy? 6.2173
What element category is it in? Transition Elements

Where is Yttrium Found?

Yttrium occurs in nearly all of the rare-earth minerals. It is recovered commercially from monazite sand, which contains about 3%, and from bastnasite, which contains about 0.2%. The metal is now produced commercially by reduction of the fluoride with calcium metal.

What is Yttrium Used For?

It is widely used in making YVO4 europium, and Y2O3 europium phosphors to give the red color in color television tubes. Yttrium aluminum garnet, with a hardness of 8.5, is also finding use as a gemstone. Small amounts of yttrium (0.1 to 0.2%) can be used to reduce the grain size in chromium, molybdenum, zirconium, and titanium, and to increase strength of aluminum and magnesium alloys. Yttrium also can be used in laser systems and as a catalyst for ethylene polymerization reactions.