Atomic # - 58 / Atomic mass - 140.13 amu

Sarah Wood

Mr. Miller

Physical Science

Period 8

21 December, 2015

Periodic Table Info.

Cerium is next to Lanthanum and Praseodymium. Below it is Thorium. It is part if the Lanthanoids family. It has 58 protons, 46 neutrons, and 58 electrons. The atomic number is 58 and its period is 6. Its symbol is Ce.

Chemical and Physical properties

Physical Properties - Cerium is malleable, soft, ductile, iron-gray metal, slightly harder than lead.

Chemical Properties - It is very reactive. It tarnishes readily in the air, it oxidizes slowly in cold water and rapidly in hot water. It dissolves in acids. It can burn when heated or scratched with a knife.


Where on the periodic table

Uses of Cerium.


Cerium is the major components of mischmetal alloy. The best-known use for this alloy is in flints for cigarette lighters. Cerium makes sparks when struck.

Cerium oxide has uses as a catalyst. It is used in the inside walls of self-cleaning ovens to prevent the build-up of cooking residues. It also used in catalytic converters. Cerium oxide nanoparticles are being studied as an additive for diesel fuel to help it burn completely and reduce exhaust emissions.

Cerium sulfide is a non-toxic compound that is a red rich color and it's used for pigment.

Cerium is also used in flat-screen TV's, low-energy light bulbs and floodlights.

Where It's Found

Cerium is the most abundant of the rare earth elements and makes up about 0.0046% of the earths crust. It's primarily obtained through an ion exchange process from monazite sand,((Ce,La,Th,Nd, Y) PO4), a material rich in rare elements.

Its Discovery


Cerium was discovered by Jöns Jacob Berzelius and Welhelm von Hisinger, Swedish chemists, and independently by MartinHeinrich Klaproth, a german chemist, in 1803. Cerium is named for the asteroid, Ceres, which in turn was named after the Roman God of agriculture.