Symbol Ce
Atomic Number 58
Atomic Mass 140.116 g.mol -1
Discovered by Jöns Jacob Berzelius and Wilhelm Hisinger in 1803 

Chemical Properties of Cerium

Group Lanthanides Melting point 799°C, 1470°F, 1072 K
Period 6 Boiling point 3443°C, 6229°F, 3716 K
Block f Density (g cm−3) 6.77
Atomic number 58 Relative atomic mass 140.116
State at 20°C Solid Key isotopes 140Ce
Electron configuration [Xe]4f5d6s2 CAS number 7440-45-1
ChemSpider ID 22411 ChemSpider is a free chemical structure database.

What is Cerium?

  • Cerium is a soft, malleable, ductile metal with an atomic number 58 and represented by the symbol Ce in the Periodic Table.

Uses of Cerium

  • Cerium is the key component of mischmetal alloy which is used in flints for cigarette lighters. The reason for it is cerium produces sparks when struck.
  • Used in the manufacture of arc lamps, incandescent mantles for gas lighting.
  • Acts as a catalyst in the conversion process of nitrogen oxide to nitrogen.
  • Cerium sulfide is used as a pigment as it has a rich red color.
  • Used in almost all color televisions and energy-saving lamps.

Properties of Cerium

  • It reacts readily in the air and tarnishes gradually. It oxidizes rapidly in hot water, slowly in cold water and dissolves in the acids.
  • Cerium is one of the most abundant among the rare earth elements.
  • It is found in lanthanides and makes about 0.0046% of Earth’s crust weight.
  • World’s production of cerium marks up to 23000 tonnes a year which may increase as more cerium is used nowadays.
  • Cerium has no biological role.

Certain Health Facts About Cerium

  • Cerium is most dangerous in the working environment due to the fact that gases and DAMPs can be inhaled with air.
  • Constant exposure to Cerium may cause lung problems and other serious diseases.

Practise This Question

A solution has a 1:4 mole ratio of pentane to hexane. The vapour pressure of the pure hydrocarbons at 20 is 440 mmHg for pentane and 120 mmHg for hexane. The mole fraction of pentane in the vapour phase would be