Geologic Distribution: Gadolinium 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 Monazite was found in trace amounts in 22 of 24 coal samples examined using scanning electron microscopy (SEM) in an unpublished study by the WVGES. Mean gadolinium abundance in West Virginia coals was 1.46 ppm. Gadolinium statistically correlated poorly with ash yield, but correlated with elements common to monazite, dysprosium (Dy), neodymium (Nd), erbium (Er) and yttrium (Y), and several ash related elements: scandium (Sc) , chromium (Cr) and zirconium (Zr). Gadolinium shows generally less than 2 ppm on a whole coal basis with no discernible stratigraphic or areal trends in abundance representing the ubiquitous distribution of monazite in West Virginia coals.
Economic Impact: Gadolinium in coal has no economic impact. Gadolinium is used to make phosphors for color TV tubes, and gadolinium yttrium garnets used in microwave applications 2.
Environmental Impact: The rare earth element gadolinium has 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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