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Cerium (Symbol Ce, Atomic number 58) was discovered by chemists Berzelius, Hisinger, and Klaproth independently of each other in 1803 in rock samples from Bastnas, Sweden, the town that lent its name to the Light Rare Earth-bearing mineral, Bastnaesite. Cerium was named after the asteroid Ceres, which itself was discovered in 1801.
Cerium is a soft, silvery white, malleable and ductile metal, which oxidizes readily in air. In pure form, cerium can ignite if scratched, a property which is known as pyromorphism and is utilized in lighter flints. Cerium can be safely used when combined with other materials, lanthanum, praseodymium, with neodymium excepted; These metals being combined to make misch metal, which is in and of itself pyrophoric.
Cerium is primarily obtained through solvent extraction processes of light rare earth minerals such as bastnaesite, and most of it is produced in China. Minor quantities of cerium are now being produced from stockpiled bastnaesite ores in California.
1. Glass and Ceramics: Cerium oxide is used to polish glass surfaces, having largely replaced jewellers rouge in the glass industry.
2. Cerium compounds are also used in the manufacture of glass and enamels, both as a component and as a decolouriser.
3. Cerium in combination with titanium gives glass a golden yellow colour.
4. Cerium oxide (Ce2O3 and CeO2) is also a component of the walls of self-cleaning ovens
5. In LED's: Cerium combined with yttrium turns blue light into white light.
6. Cerium oxide, in combination with tin oxide (SnO) is used for UV absorption for solar panels.
7. Cerium is also used to stabilize zirconia and for alumina ceramics in catalytic converters.
8. It is also utilized in dental ceramics.
9. Alloys and Metals: Cerium is alloyed with iron to make nodular iron to improve machineability of automotive power-train components.
10. Energy: Cerium oxide, doped with other rare earth oxides, has been investigated as a solid electrolyte in intermediate temperature solid oxide fuel cells
11. Medicine: Cerium is used as an additive to some anti-emetic pharmaceuticals.
12. Catalysts: Cerium oxide is used as a catalytic converter to reduce carbon monoxide emissions in the exhaust gases from motor vehicles.
13. Cerium additives to diesel fuel enable the fuel to burn more cleanly, with less resulting air-pollution.
14. Other Uses: Cerium is one of the rare earth elements used to make carbon arc lights, which are used in the motion picture industry for studio lighting and projector lights.
|CeO2/TREO (% min.)||99.999||99.99||99.9||99|
|TREO (% min.)||99||99||99||99|
|Loss on ignition (% max.)||1.0||1.0||1.0||1.0|
|Rare Earth Impurities||% max.||% max.||% max.||% max.|
|Non-Rare Earth Impurities||% max.||% max.||% max.||% max.|