Geologic Occurrence: Dysprosium occurs in minor amounts in the trace minerals monazite and allanite 1. Monazite was found in trace amounts in 22 of 24 coal samples examined using scanning electron microscopy (SEM) in an unpublished study by the WVGES. Dysprosium was detected in only 77 of 456 samples of West Virginia coals analyzed and averaged 2.03 ppm on a whole coal basis. Dysprosium correlated poorly with ash yield, other rare earth elements, especially those in monazite, and with several ash related elements, but showed no distribution trends in stratigraphy. Coal samples with detectable Dy were all located in southern West Virginia with most coals <2 ppm Dy.
Economic Impact: Dysprosium in coal is of no economic impact. Dysprosium has few economic applications or uses 2.
Environmental Impact: Rare earth elements, dysprosium in particular, have no environmental impact in coal mining or utilization 1.
1. Swaine, D.J., (1990)
2. CRC Handbook of Chemistry and Physics
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