Yttrium: historical information

Yttrium was discovered by Johann Gadolin at 1794 in Finland. Origin of name: named after the village of "Ytterby" near Vaxholm in Sweden.

Yttria (yttrium oxide, Y2O3), was discovered by Johann Gadolin in 1794 in a mineral called gadolinite from Ytterby. Ytterby is the site of a quarry in Sweden which contains many unusual minerals containing erbium, terbium, and ytterbium as well as yttrium. Friedrich Wohler obtained the impure element in 1828 by reduction of the anhydrous chloride (YCl3) with potassium.

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yttrium atomic number