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  • A chemical element which is a silvery white metal belongs to group 3 of periodic table and is the first element of lanthanide series with atomic number 57.

  • Occurrence of Lanthanum is found wherever deposits of monazite and bastnasite are found. It usually comprises 25 to 38% of the total lanthanide present in the ore.

  • Manufacturing methods to obtain pure lanthanum are solvent extraction and ion exchange techniques.

  • In ion exchange process, earth ions are adsorbed onto suitable ion exchange resin by exchange with hydrogen.

  • In liquid-liquid extraction, lanthanum separated from a solution of rare earth nitrates with a suitable organic liquid.

  • Lanthanum is amongst the most reactive metals and it oxidizes when exposed to air. It is lesser reactive to cold water than hot water.

  • It reacts with the halogens and in the fluoride form LaF3 it can be used for coating glass fibres to give superior reflective properties for the transmission of signals via optical fibre.

  • Lanthanum increases the glass reflective index for digital camera lenses.

  • Lanthanum Carbonate is used as a medication under brand name Fosrenol which is a chewable tablets contain lanthanum as the active moiety.

  • Applications of lanthanum includes in battery electrodes, camera lens, catalytic cracking catalyst.

  • Fluid cracking catalysts use lanthanum and cerium in the refining of crude oil to improve the activity and hydrothermal stability & enhance gasoline yields.

  • One way to invest in lanthanum is to invest in the mining companies that are developing rare earth deposits.

  • Globally, lanthanum production is around 12,500 tonnes per year.

  • The demand for lanthanum is expected to increase. While current hybrid automobile batteries use huge amount of lanthanum.

  • By 2015, Lanthanum supply demand exceeds by 13%.

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