Saturday, October 6, 2012

Hafnium APEX Mineral

Hafnium (Hf #72) is the next element on the periodic table for my APEX mineral collection.  

Wikipedia Hafnium
Hafnium Minerals - A few
 minerals can contain small amounts of Hafnium as a substitution element for the more common Zirconium.
Zircon (ZrSiO4) (Zirconium Silicate) with typical 5% Hafnium Zirconium substitution  is the obvious APEX mineral.    
Hafnium is extremely difficult to separate from Zirconium.  However, separation is necessary for nuclear reactor parts.  The production of Hafnium-free Zirconium is the main source for Hafnium
Hafnium was unknown until modern times.
Hafnium is excellent at neutron absorption and is critical to nuclear reactor design.  It is used for reactor control rods and must be carefully excluded from other neutron transparent reactor components.
Hafnium is not known to be necessary for any living organisms.