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Scandium is a chemical element with symbol Sc and atomic number 21. A silvery-white metallic d-block element, it  was discovered in 1879 by spectral analysis of the minerals euxenite and gadolinite from Scandinavia.

Sc is the 36th most abundant element in the crust
Earth’s crust abundance of 22 mg/kg, the occurrence of scandium is comparable with that of lead (14 mg/kg) and cobalt (25 mg/kg)
However, scandium is rarely concentrated in nature and remains widely dispersed in the lithosphere as it lacks affinity to combine with the common ore-forming anions

Sc is ‘more rare’ than all other REEs

Where is Sc found?

viable sources of Sc today
TiO2 pigment product
acid wastes streams
Uranium processing wastes
(Soviet stockpiles)
Nickel-Cobalt Laterites
Bauxite Residues

Bauxides and nickel laterite ores are proposed as the most promising Sc resources for future large scale production; Parnassos/Greece could well be a worldwide resource for Sc!

Global producers

Sc is produced in a handful of places globally
A major source for scandium deposits was the now flooded Ashurst mine in Zhovti Vody outside Kiev, Ukraine, that was once a major harvesting ground for iron ore and uranium for the Soviet military.
Today there is an active mine for Sc is in Kazahkstan
Other Sc sources include REE byproducts in Kola Peninsula in Russia and Bayan Obo in China and there are several Acid Waste facilities (TiO2 production) in China, USA, Philippines and Japan

The current  Sc world production is estimated at  10 – 12 tpy of scandium oxide



10-12 tpy


12-14 tpy

Al – Sc 2%: 100-150 $/g
Sc2O3 99.99% price per kg
Sc metal 99.9% price per kg


*data from 2013

0.9 $/g

Sc2O3 99%

5 $/g

Sc2O3 99.99%

253 $/g

ScF3 99,99%

206 $/g

Sc Metal

Sc has superpowers

Sc achieves superior results than Y in material applications


Sc-stabilised Zirconia has lowered operational temperatures facilitating the commercialisation of the technology

+ see example


have 3 times higher efficiency than Y garnets

+ see example


Sc compound is used as phosphors for high intensity “natural” light – close to solar optical spectrum


Scandium-Aluminium alloys
  • as strong as titanium
  • as light as aluminium
  • as hard as ceramic

Sc drastically improves Al alloys, increasing strength, corrosion resistance & allowing welding…

Sc Al alloys origin

Scandium –Aluminium alloys were first used in the 1980s for structural purposes in Soviet aircrafts and missiles.

Weldable alloys

The strength that Scandium alloys brought to weldable alloys, allowed Soviet to built aircrafts (MIG-29) and utilize welded structures. This gave these planes tremendous weight, maneuverability and range advantages.


Sc offers the highest increment of strengthening per atomic percent of any alloying element when added to Al

Hot cracking

Sc reduces hot cracking during welding of Al-alloys

Sc Applications

The Al-Sc-Mg alloy powder is used in 3D printing by AIRBUS

We did produce 122 out of the 162 parts on our M400 out of SCALMALLOY®. The partition weights a massive 45% less than current Airbus A320 partition designs

APWorks, 2 December 2015

Sc2O3SOFC – SSZ solid electrolyte in market by BloomenergyHousehold use
Sc2O3Er: YSGG garnets ( Er:Y 3 Sc 2 Ga 3 0 12 ) for optics in lazer application Er: YSGG has 3 times higher efficiency than Nd,Er: YAG in solid-state lasers radiating in the 3 µm
Sc-Al alloyHigh resistance Al alloy used in welding or casting – best Al alloy availableHigh End sporting equipmentAerospace, Automotive
Al-Mg-Sc (Scalmalloy®)3D Printing –licensed by Airbus to Apworks Aerospace, Automotive
ScF3Material with negative thermal expansion coefficientAdvanced material composites
20% Sc - 80% Ti Carbidedoubling of the hardness TiC, to about 50 GPa, second only to diamonds in hardness. Advanced materials
Phosporous / LightingScandium has a broad emission spectrum that generates a ‘daylight’ effect. Sc2O3 and ScVO4 are typical host materials for phosphorus in monitors Stadium / studio lightingHousehold lighting