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Although Zr belongs to 4d and Hf belongs

Question:

 Although Zr belongs to 4d and Hf belongs to 5d transition series but it is quite difficult to separate them. Why?

Solution:

Due to the lanthanoid contraction poor f, orbital shielding leads to an increase in effective nuclear charge, which reduces the size of Hf. So the atomic radii of both Zr and

Hf are similar which means they have similar physical and chemical properties and hence separation becomes difficult.

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