Cerium stearate

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Cerium stearate

Cerium stearate is a chemical compound consisting of cerium, a rare earth metal, and stearic acid, a saturated fatty acid commonly found in animal and vegetable fats. The compound is known for its use as a stabilizer and anti-oxidant in plastics and rubbers, enhancing the materials' heat and light stability. Cerium stearate is part of a broader category of metal soaps, which are metal salts of fatty acids.

Properties[edit | edit source]

Cerium stearate is characterized by its white to slightly yellowish appearance. It is insoluble in water but soluble in organic solvents. This compound exhibits excellent thermal stability and is used to improve the heat resistance of various polymers. Its effectiveness as a stabilizer is attributed to the cerium ion's ability to scavenge free radicals, thereby preventing the oxidative degradation of polymers.

Applications[edit | edit source]

The primary application of Cerium stearate is in the plastics and rubber industry, where it serves as a heat stabilizer and anti-oxidant. It is particularly useful in the manufacturing of PVC (polyvinyl chloride) and other halogen-containing polymers, where it helps in preventing dehydrochlorination and discoloration caused by heat and light exposure. Additionally, cerium stearate is used in the production of certain lubricants and greases, where its properties help in improving thermal stability and performance under high temperatures.

Environmental and Health Aspects[edit | edit source]

While cerium stearate is considered to be of low toxicity, handling and use of the compound should be done with care. Proper protective equipment should be worn to avoid inhalation and skin contact. The environmental impact of cerium stearate is minimal when used and disposed of properly. However, as with all chemical compounds, responsible use and disposal practices should be followed to minimize any potential environmental harm.

See Also[edit | edit source]


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Contributors: Prab R. Tumpati, MD