Europium is found in nature in the minerals bastnasite and monazite. Due to the fact that these minerals are also composed of other rare earth elements and lanthanides, the isolation process of europium is a highly complicated multi-step process. Due to the complexity of the europium isolation process, it is never performed on a small scale laboratory basis.
The extraction and isolation process of europium begins with treating the minerals it occurs in with sulfuric acid, hydrochloric acid, and sodium hydroxide. This process isolates the elements in the minerals out in their salt forms. Europium is further isolated by repeated solvent extractions and ion exchange chromatography. These processes extract europium out of solution in a chloride form. Electrolysis with sodium chloride in a graphite cell is needed to further purify the europium. The result from electrolysis yields pure europium and chlorine gas. It is not known currently whether pure europium presents any toxic hazards.