Gadolinium

The major producers of Gadolinium include the following:
 
Goodfellow Corporation
GFS Chemicals
All-Chemie
Pascal Technologies
Fredericksburg
VA Alfa Chemical Corpation
Molycorp
Super Conductor Materials
Inorganic Ventures
Molycorp Corporation

Gadolinium is a chemical element with symbol Gd and atomic number 64. Gadolinium is a silvery-white, malleable, and ductile rare earth metal. It is found in nature only in oxidized form, and even when separated, it usually has impurities of the other rare earths. Gadolinium was discovered in 1880 by Jean Charles de Marignac, who detected its oxide by using spectroscopy. It is named after the mineral gadolinite, one of the minerals in which gadolinium is found, itself named for the chemist Johan Gadolin. Pure gadolinium was first isolated by the chemist Paul Emile Lecoq de Boisbaudran around 1886.

Gadolinium possesses unusual metallurgical properties, to the extent that as little as 1% of gadolinium can significantly improve the workability and resistance to oxidation at high temperatures of iron, chromium, and related metals. Gadolinium as a metal or a salt absorbs neutrons and is, therefore, used sometimes for shielding in neutron radiographyand in nuclear reactors.

Like most of the rare earths, gadolinium forms trivalent ions with fluorescent properties, and salts of gadolinium(III) are used as phosphors in various applications.

The kinds of gadolinium(III) ions occurring in water-soluble salts are toxic to mammals. However, chelatedgadolinium(III) compounds are far less toxic because they carry gadolinium(III) through the kidneys and out of the body before the free ion can be released into the tissues. Because of its paramagnetic properties, solutions of chelated organic gadolinium complexes are used as intravenously administered gadolinium-based MRI contrast agents in medical magnetic resonance imaging.

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