Cerium oxide

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Cerium Oxide[edit | edit source]

Cerium oxide powder Cerium oxide is a chemical compound with the formula CeO2. It is also known as ceric oxide or ceria. Cerium oxide is a pale yellow-white powder that is commonly used in various applications due to its unique properties.

Properties[edit | edit source]

Cerium oxide has a high melting point of approximately 2,400 degrees Celsius and is insoluble in water. It is a stable compound that exhibits both ionic and covalent bonding. Cerium oxide is a good conductor of electricity at high temperatures and has excellent thermal stability.

Applications[edit | edit source]

Cerium oxide finds numerous applications in various industries:

1. Catalysts: Cerium oxide is widely used as a catalyst in various chemical reactions. Its high oxygen storage capacity and redox properties make it an effective catalyst for automotive exhaust systems, fuel cells, and chemical synthesis.

2. Polishing Agent: Due to its abrasive properties, cerium oxide is commonly used as a polishing agent for glass, ceramics, and metals. It is particularly effective in removing scratches and imperfections from optical lenses and mirrors.

3. Solid Oxide Fuel Cells: Cerium oxide is used as an electrolyte material in solid oxide fuel cells (SOFCs). It helps in enhancing the performance and stability of the fuel cells by providing oxygen ions for the electrochemical reactions.

4. UV Absorber: Cerium oxide nanoparticles are used as UV absorbers in sunscreens and cosmetic products. They help protect the skin from harmful ultraviolet (UV) radiation by absorbing and scattering the UV rays.

Safety and Environmental Impact[edit | edit source]

Cerium oxide is generally considered safe for use in various applications. However, prolonged exposure to high concentrations of cerium oxide dust may cause respiratory irritation. It is important to handle cerium oxide with proper safety precautions, such as wearing protective masks and gloves.

In terms of environmental impact, cerium oxide is considered relatively low in toxicity. However, as with any chemical compound, it should be handled and disposed of responsibly to minimize any potential environmental harm.

See Also[edit | edit source]

References[edit | edit source]

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Contributors: Prab R. Tumpati, MD