35 Cerium Uses in Different Industries (Need To Know Facts!)

Cerium is the most abundant member of the series of elements known as lanthanides. Let us discuss some important uses of cerium in this article.

The uses of cerium are listed below –

  • Metallurgical Applications
  • Glass and Ceramic Applications
  • Catalytic and Chemical Applications
  • Dye and Pigments
  • Electronics

The technological applications of cerium rely predominantly on its high thermodynamic affinity for oxygen and sulfur, potential redox chemistry involving cerium(III) and cerium(IV), and the absorption/excitation energy bands associated with its electronic structure. Let us have a look at the uses of cerium.

Metallurgical Applications

  1. Cerium-containing ferroalloys are used to improve the physical properties of high-strength/low-alloy (HSLA) steels.
  2. Cerium provides graphite morphology control, to produce spherulitic or vermicular crystallites.
  3. Cerium is used to free oxygen and sulfur from the melt through the formation of stable lanthanide oxysulfides of cast iron.
  4. Cerium is used as pyrophoric iron-mischmetal (60%) alloy for lighter flints.
  5. Reactive alloys based on cerium, such as Th2Al-MM, can be used as getters for electronic equipment and vacuum tubes.
  6. Cerium used as an alternative to nickel and cobalt for making superalloy.
  7. Cerium is used to improve the oxidation resistance and operating life of alloy.
  8. Ce is used for removing a trace amount of sulfur impurities from the metal crystallite boundaries and for modification of alloy.
  9. Rapid solidification of aluminium alloy cerium used as an additive.
  10. Manufacturing aluminium-based alloys like Al–Fe binary and ternary Al–Fe–Ce compounds Cerium is used.
  11. Cerium Used in chromium plating in the aqueous form of hexaaquochromium(III) ion.

Glass and Ceramic Applications

  1. An abrasive with a cerium base that improves grindability and creates a highly precise polished surface.
  2. Cerium is Used to manufacture TV face plates and mirrors.
  3. The photostability of pigments can be enhanced by the surface additive of cerium.
  4. The rate at which certain pigments, such as titanium dioxide, darken on exposure to light can be reduced by cerium.
  5. Making high radiation resistant glass by high energy electrons of cerium.
  6. The glass contains cerium ions that absorb ultraviolet radiation and release electrons into the glass matrix called photosensitive glass.
  7. Highly detailed patterns glasses can be produced by silver ions mixed with Ce ions.
  8. Cerium used as thin surface coatings that are applied to optical components to improve performance.

Catalytic and Chemical Applications

  1. Several catalysts are used to convert crude oil to lower molecular-weight fractions, such as gasoline using cerium.
  2. Cerium is used to bind within the zeolite pores create a high electric field gradient.
  3. The lanthanides, cerium are used to give high cracking activity to the catalysts, especially to produce low-octane fuel from heavy crude oil feedstocks.
  4. Cerium is most widely used exhaust control device consists of a ceramic monolith with a thin-walled.
  5. Cerium is used to remove sulfur dioxide in refinery catalytic cracking process (FCC) in sulfur-containing crude oil fractions.
  6. Cerium is generating radical using as polymer initiator.
  7. An alkali-promoted iron oxide-based catalyst and the addition of cerium are used to produce styrene from ethylbenzene.
  8. The ammoxidation of propylene to produce acrylonitrile is carried out over a catalytically active cerium complex.
  9. Cerium-based catalyst is also used in oxygen and electron transfer redox couple.
  10. Cerium fluoride can be used as an additive to lubricant formulations to improve extreme pressure.
  11. Cerium is used in carbon arc lighting input electrical energy is converted to radiant visible energy.

Dye and Pigments

  1. The photostability of pigments can be enhanced by the addition of cerium, as it provides pigments with lightfastness and prevents clear polymers from darkening in sunlight.
  2. As an inorganic pigment is the vivid red cerium(III) sulfide (cerium sulfide red), which stays chemically inert up to very high temperatures.

Phosphor/Luminescence Applications

  1. Cerium is an essential component as a dopant for phosphors used in CRT TV screens, fluorescent lamps, and later white light-emitting diodes.
  2. The most commonly used example is cerium(III)-doped yttrium aluminium garnet (Ce: YAG) which emits green to yellow-green light (550–530 nm) and also behaves as a scintillator.
  3. Cerium- Containing phosphorus is used as a host lattice with a very efficient emission in specific cathode-ray tube applications.


  1. An electrolyte in a power cell (100A) has a redo pair made of cerium.
  2. Cerium-modified doped strontium titanate is a component of compositions for electrochemical cells.
  3. Ceria has also been used as a substitute for its radioactive congener thoria.
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Uses of Cerium In different Fields

What are the Main Differences Between Cesium and Cerium Uses in Industries?

Cesium uses in industries are mainly centered around its atomic properties, such as its ability to accurately measure time in atomic clocks and its role in producing photocells for industrial applications. On the other hand, cerium finds common use in catalysts, glass manufacturing, and polishing agents. These distinctions in their industrial applications highlight the distinct chemical and physical properties of cesium and cerium.

Cerium chloride uses

Cerous chloride hydrate CeCl3 nH2O, usually with n = 6, on heating, tends to form cerous oxychloride, CeOCl. Let us discuss some uses of cerium chloride.

The uses of cerium chloride are –

  1. Used as catalyst for Friedel-Crafts acylations and alkylation reactions.
  2. Synthesis for luche reduction[13] of alpha, beta-unsaturated carbonyl compounds.

It is highly soluble in water, and (when anhydrous) it is soluble in ethanol and acetone. The uses of cerium chloride are limited to chemical synthesis than any other halide of cerium (III).

Cerium oxide uses

Pure CeO2 is a very pale yellow having a fluorite (CaF2) structure having eight-coordinate cations and four-coordinate anions. Let us see the uses of CeO2.

The uses of cerium oxide are listed below –

  • Catalysis
  • Energy & fuels
  • Optics
  • Welding

It can exhibit large deviations from stoichiometry giving CeO2x, where x can be up to 0.3. The color of the oxide is sensitive not only to stoichiometry but also to the presence of other lanthanides. Let us focus uses of cerium oxide in the following part of the article.


  • In water, a gas shift reaction CeO2 is used as a heterogeneous catalyst.
  • Its reduced derivative Cerium(III) oxide reduces water, with the release of hydrogen.
  • CeOx materials are the basis of the use of ceria for an oxidation catalyst. 
  • CeO2 is used in the walls of self-cleaning ovens as a hydrocarbon oxidation catalyst during the high-temperature cleaning process.
  • Lower sequence cerium oxide is used as a catalytic converter for the oxidation of CO and NOx emissions.
  • CeO2 is used as over-coated for porcelain enamels due to high refractive index.
  • CeO2-doped zirconia is also used in thermal barrier spray coatings on metal surfaces.
  • FCC catalysts dopant as cerium oxide contain crystalline zeolites and additives embedded in an inert matrix.

Energy & fuels


  • Thin surface coatings of Cerium oxide are applied to optical components to improve performance.
  • CeO2 found to be used in infrared filters, as an oxidizing species in catalytic converters.


  • It is used in tungsten arc wielding as the alternative to thorium.


Cerium is characterized chemically by having two stable valence states, Ce3+, cerous, and ceric Ce4+, for which the ionic radii are 114 pm and 97 pm, respectively. Indeed, the ceric ion is a powerful oxidizing agent but when associated with the ligand oxygen, it is completely stabilized, and ceric oxide is the form of cerium most widely used.