Larger neodymium magnets are used in high-power-versus-weight electric motors (for example in hybrid cars) and generators (for example aircraft and wind turbine electric generators).Neodymium, a rare-earth metal, was present in the classical mischmetal at a concentration of about 18%.
Neodymium is never found in nature as a free element, but rather it occurs in ores such as monazite and bastnäsite (these are mineral group names rather than single mineral names) that contain small amounts of all the rare-earth metals.
In these minerals Nd is rarely dominant (as in the case of, e.g., La), with Ce being the most abundant lanthanide; some exceptions include monazite-(Nd) and kozoite-(Nd).
The main mining areas are in China, the United States, Brazil, India, Sri Lanka, and Australia.
The reserves of neodymium are estimated at about eight million tonnes.
The name neodymium is derived from the Greek words neos (νέος), new, and didymos (διδύμος), twin.
Double nitrate crystallization was the means of commercial neodymium purification until the 1950s.
The absorption bands of neodymium interact with the visible emission spectrum of mercury vapor, with the unfiltered shortwave UV light causing neodymium-containing minerals to reflect a distinctive green color.
This can be observed with monazite-containing sands or bastnäsite-containing ore. A neodymium magnet of a few grams can lift a thousand times its own weight.
The metal itself is obtained through electrolysis of its halide salts.
Currently, most neodymium is extracted from bastnäsite, (Ce, La, Nd, Pr)CO99.99%).
Neodymium is a chemical element with symbol Nd and atomic number 60. Neodymium was discovered in 1885 by the Austrian chemist Carl Auer von Welsbach.