Scandium: historical information

  • Discoveror: Lars Fredrik Nilson
  • Place of discovery: Sweden
  • Date of discovery: 1879
  • Origin of name : from the Latin word "Scandia" meaning "Scandinavia".

Scandium was discovered by Lars Frederick Nilson (a Scandinavian) in 1876 in the minerals euxenite and gadolinite, which had not yet been found anywhere except in Scandinavia. He and his coworkers were actually looking for rare earth metals. By processing 10 kg of euxenite and other residues of rare-earth minerals, Nilson was able to prepare about 2 g of scandium oxide (scandia, Sc2O3) of high purity.

In 1871 Mendeleev predicted that an element should exist that would resemble boron in its properties. He therefore called it ekaboron, (symbol Eb). Per Theodor Cleve found scandium oxide at about the same time. He noted that the new element was the element ekaboron predicted by Mendeleev in 1871.

WebElements Shop

You can buy periodic table posters, mugs, T-shirts, fridge magnets, games, molecular models, and more at the WebElements shop