Chemical reactions of the elements

Reaction of neodymium with air

Neodymium metal tarnishes slowly in air and burns readily to form neodymium (III) oxide, Nd2O3.

4Nd + 3O2 → 2Nd2O3

Reaction of neodymium with water

The silvery white metal neodymium is quite electropositive and reacts slowly with cold water and quite quickly with hot water to form neodymium hydroxide, Nd(OH)3, and hydrogen gas (H2).

2Nd(s) + 6H2O(g) → 2Nd(OH)3(aq) + 3H2(g)

Reaction of neodymium with the halogens

Neodymium metal reacts with all the halogens to form neodymium(III) halides. So, it reacts with fluorine, F2, chlorine, Cl2, bromine, I2, and iodine, I2, to form respectively neodymium(III) bromide, NdF3, neodymium(III) chloride, NdCl3, neodymium(III) bromide, NdBr3, and neodymium(III) iodide, NdI3.

2Nd(s) + 3F2(g) → 2NdF3(s) [violet]

2Nd(s) + 3Cl2(g) → 2NdCl3(s) [mauve]

2Nd(s) + 3Br2(g) → 2NdBr3(s) [violet]

2Nd(s) + 3I2(g) → 2NdI3(s) [green]

Reaction of neodymium with acids

Neodymium metal dissolves readily in dilute sulphuric acid to form solutions containing the lilac aquated Nd(III) ion together with hydrogen gas, H2. It is quite likely that Nd3+(aq) exists as largely the complex ion [Nd(OH2)9]3+

2Nd(s) + 3H2SO4(aq) → 2Nd3+(aq) + 3SO42-(aq) + 3H2(g)

Reaction of neodymium with bases

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neodymium atomic number