Chemistry ETDs

Publication Date



The separation of lanthanum, yttrium, and the rare earth elements from their ores has been a challenge to the chemist for many years. The similarity in chemical properties has made their separation a problem of extraordinary difficulty. Fractional crystallization has been the classical method utilized in the past, although individual elements have been isolated by oxidation or reduction to other than the tripositive oxidation state (1). Recently ion exchange and solvent extraction methods have become more important as a means of separation of these elements. Both of these techniques depend upon fractional differences in the distribution of compounds or ions of the rare earth elements between two phases (2). For both methods, the equivalent of many single stage separations is combined through the use of present-day experimental techniques eliminating much of the tedious work required by fractional crystallization. Solvent extraction procedures have the additional advantage of continuous operation by use of an automatic extraction apparatus (3).

Project Sponsors

Los Alamos National Laboratory



Document Type


Degree Name


Level of Degree


Department Name

Department of Chemistry and Chemical Biology

First Committee Member (Chair)

John Francis Suttle

Second Committee Member

Guido Herman Daub

Third Committee Member

Abraham Rosenzweig

Fourth Committee Member

Milton Kahn