Cerium oxalate

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Cerium Oxalate[edit | edit source]

Cerium oxalate crystals

Cerium oxalate is a chemical compound with the formula Ce2(C2O4)3. It is a rare earth metal oxalate that is commonly used in various applications due to its unique properties. This article will provide an overview of cerium oxalate, including its properties, uses, and potential hazards.

Properties[edit | edit source]

Cerium oxalate is a white crystalline solid that is insoluble in water. It has a molecular weight of approximately 612.48 g/mol. The compound is composed of two cerium (Ce) ions bonded to three oxalate (C2O4) ions. Cerium is a rare earth metal known for its high reactivity and ability to exhibit multiple oxidation states. Oxalate, on the other hand, is an organic compound that contains carbon, oxygen, and hydrogen atoms.

Uses[edit | edit source]

Cerium oxalate has several important applications in various industries:

1. Catalysis: Cerium oxalate is used as a catalyst in various chemical reactions. It can promote the oxidation of organic compounds and is particularly effective in oxidation reactions involving alcohols and aldehydes.

2. Ceramic Industry: Cerium oxalate is used in the production of ceramics. It acts as a flux, reducing the melting point of ceramic materials and improving their overall properties, such as hardness and durability.

3. Glass Polishing: Cerium oxalate is commonly used as a polishing agent for glass surfaces. It helps remove scratches and imperfections, resulting in a smooth and clear finish.

4. Photography: Cerium oxalate is used in the production of photographic papers and films. It acts as a sensitizer, enhancing the sensitivity of the emulsion to light and improving the quality of the final image.

Hazards[edit | edit source]

While cerium oxalate is generally considered safe to handle, certain precautions should be taken:

1. Toxicity: Cerium oxalate is considered to be moderately toxic if ingested or inhaled. It may cause irritation to the respiratory system and gastrointestinal tract. Protective measures, such as gloves and masks, should be used when handling the compound.

2. Environmental Impact: Cerium oxalate can have negative effects on the environment if not properly managed. It should be disposed of according to local regulations to prevent contamination of soil and water sources.

References[edit | edit source]

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Contributors: Prab R. Tumpati, MD