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Transcript of Terbium (Tb)
-This is Terbium's electron configuration:
[Xe] 4f9 6s2
-Discovered in 1843 by Swedish Chemist Carl Gustaf Mosander at Stockholm
-Named after the village of Ytterby, Sweden, as the element was discovered in a quarry nearby.
-Terbium is the producer of color on our iPhones or other devices with a high definition screen and can be found in its circuit boards
-Terbium is used to dope calcium fluoride (used for aluminum-metallurgy, brake lining, glass manufacturing), calcium tungstate (in fluorescent lamps) and strontium molybdate -> all used in solid-state devices like iPhones
-Terbium salts are used in laser devices
-Terbium is used in color phosphors in lighting applications such as trichromatic lighting and in color TV tubes
-Other than these practices, this element is not widely used
Uses of Terbium
-The main mining areas for Terbium are China, USA, India, Sri Lanka, Brazil and Australia
-Terbium is mined from a variety of ore minerals and deposits using various methods:
~Monazite and xenotime are recovered (both containing terbium) from heavy-mineral sands deposits (these are recovered by surface placer methods from unconsolidated sands using floating dredges to separate the sands)
~Ore obtained is then stripped, crushed, and screened and is eventually processed by wet mills
~Terbium salt can be separated through ion exchange
-Terbium is a lanthanide, which tells you that its compounds range from low to moderate in toxicity, so unprotected complete exposure it could be potentially dangerous. There is also not much knowledge on its complete toxicity, so it MUST be handled carefully
-Its high heat for a boiling point (3230 Degrees Celcius) and many chemicals necessary to be created, found, or forcibly mined could potentially harm the environment
By: Maddy Casale and Michael Foley
(with Ammonium Chloride)
-Terbium was discovered as an impurity within Ytterbium, but today it is mostly extracted from Praseodymium and Neodymium using sulfuric acid, hydrochloric acid, and sodium hydroxide.
-Terbium is also refined when terbium oxide is converted into terbium fluoride. This process is followed by metallothermic (displacement of metals by another metal using thermal methods) reduction where vacuum remelting and sublimation (distillation) can create pure metal terbium
-Terbium also poses no or little enviromental threat to plants or animals
-Apple provides information on their website that users of their products can send them used iPods or any mobile phone by mail, and they will recycle it and send back a giftcard
-They also provide the option of bringing your old iPod to an Apple Retail Store and get 10 percent off a new one.
-Used iPhones are also bought, fixed, and resold in places like China where many people own iPhones and will fall into this cycle
-However, used iPhones are also often just thrown out or "recycled" when there are too many different components making up the device that they'd need to be completely disassembled for proper recycling
-More than 53 million tons of iPhones were thrown away in 2009 to be recycled. however, in the U.S. only about 25% of this is treated of toxic chemicals and the rest are restocked or sent to other countries to be used second-hand. in countries like China, India, and Pakistan, used iPhones are just thrown into large dumps and fill landfills
-42.3M iPhones sold in 2010 will or have been thrown away
-This year a study showed that 8 out of 10 people would replace their stolen or lost iPhones within two days and on average Americans change their cell phones every 21.7 months.
-There are health concerns if people choose to throw out their iPhones because there are several toxic materials in iPhones, that if released, can harm people, animals, and the environment
-In 2010 about 19,500 tons of mobile devices were disposed of, with only 2,240 (11%) of those tons being recycled
-Whether iPhones can be completely extracted, purified and aggregated in a way that makes economic sense remains the critical question
Terbium is recycled from commercial, residential, and industrial products by the process of crystallization and other ultra high purification process. If the process is done well enough, the terbium can be reused in electronics. Terbium can be recycled into forms of rod, ingot, powder, pellets, disc, granules, and wire.
Not a lot of information is out there on how iPhone circuit boards (where Terbium is used) are completely manufactured. There are many minerals within that originate from Western Africa. There are many high value metals found within. However, since the circuit boards and metals within are usually imported from other countries, that can increase their costs. There are also many deaths and attacks in foreign countries due to conflicts in mining and general industry.
The manufacturers of iPhone use the element in the products circuit boards as well as its interactive touch screen. In the screen, it is used for electromagnetic responsiveness when using the touch screen.
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