How To: Make europium and dysprosium nitrate salts

Make europium and dysprosium nitrate salts

This is chemistry at its best! Europium is the chemical element (Eu) which was named after Europe. Dysprosium (Dy) is a rare earth element of a metallic silver luster. Watch this science video tutorial from Nurd Rage on how to make europium and dysprosium nitrate salts with Dr. Lithium.

Instead of buying the salts directly from a chemical supply company, try making them entirely yourself, using chemicals anyone can buy online or make themselves. In this case, europium metal and dysprosium metal with nitric acid.

The europium and dysprosium metal were purchased online from

The nitric acid was produced in an earlier Nurd Rage video, "How to make nitric acid".

First, obtain 2.5 grams of europium. Europium comes in mineral oil so it must be washed off with toluene. Then the europium is placed in a beaker where a total of 10 mL of water is added in small portions. This is added before the acid for safety reasons. After all the water is added and the reaction seems to have slowed down 10mL of concentrated 15.6 molar nitric acid is added.

The solution is then heated to ensure complete reaction of all the metal bits.

For dysprosium:

5g of dysprosium can be directly added to a mixture of 20mL of water and 20mL Nitric acid. Once again, heating the solution ensures complete reaction.

Both nitrates are allowed to dry in the desiccator bag we made in a previous video, "How to make a desiccator bag for drying chemicals".

Afterward, the nitrates are transferred to vials for storage and labeled.

The europium salt produced will be Europium Nitrate pentahydrate
The dysprosium salt produced will be dysprosium nitrate pentahydrate.

Brought to you by one of WonderHowTo's favorite scientists, NurdRage.

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1 Comment

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