Geologic Distribution: Very little has been published about Lu in coal. Lutetium has been observed in trace amounts in monazite 1. Mean whole coal lutetium in West Virginia coals was 0.133 ppm. Lutetium correlated highly with REE such as ytterbium (Yb), samarium (Sm), europium (Eu), terbium (Tb) and erbium (Er) and components of monazite, especially cerium (Ce), yttrium (Y) and lanthanum (La). Lutetium showed no stratigraphic variations in abundance with all coals averaging less than 0.25 ppm, and the lowest whole coal Lu in the Pittsburgh and Redstone coals of the Monongahela Group.
Economic Impact: Lutetium in coal is of no economic impact. Lutetium has no commercial uses 2.
Environmental Impact: Generally rare earth elements have no environmental importance, and the contribution of lutetium to the atmosphere during coal combustion little understood, but is likely too low to be regarded as harmful 1.
1. Swaine, D.J., (1990)
2. CRC Handbook of Chemistry and Physics
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