UNAIR NEWS – Geological Agency of the Ministry of Energy and Mineral Resources (ESDM) revealed a potential rare earth metal content in Lapindo Mud Sidoarjo. This discovery of the potential rare earth metal has led to many questions. The Lapindo Mudflow Sidoarjo, which was considered a disaster, had great potential.
Lecturer of Chemistry, Faculty of Science and Technology Universitas Airlangga (UNAIR) Dr. rer. nat. Ganden Supriyanto, M.Sc responded to this discovery. He expressed the importance of rare earth metal to utilize high technology.
Ganden stated that rare earth in the chemical formula of the periodic system is included in the lanthanide and actinide groups, rare earth metals are also referred to as transition metals. This metal is essential and has high value because it is used in high technology, such as metal mixtures in meteorology.
“These rare earth metals are essential in certain areas such as meteorology to manufacture spacecraft, high energy lamps, and semi-conductors. So, the metal is costly, even much more expensive than gold and platinum,” Ganden said.
Moreover, Ganden explained that rare earth metal is a type of metal lanthanide and actinide that includes lithium and scandium. That metal was found at the Lapindo mud Sidoarjo. So far, lithium has mainly been used to make batteries, especially electric car batteries. The discovery of the metal is also important because all vehicles must be emission-free so that electric cars are more widely used in the future.
In addition to the potential of lithium utilization, scandium also has great potential. Scandium is widely used as a high-tech lamp-making material because scandium metal has strong durability, so the metal does not melt even though the lamp has a very high wattage. Besides being utilized as a high-tech lamp-making material, scandium is also widely used for semi-conductor.
“Discovery of rare earth metal at Lapindo Mud Sidoarjo has an enormous utilization potential because of its high value and its importance for high-tech in the future,” he concluded.
Author: Ananda Wildhan Wahyu Pratama
Editor : Binti Q. Masruroh