Cerium Facts

Cerium Facts
Cerium (Ce) has an atomic number of fifty-eight, and fifty-eight protons in its nucleus. It is an iron-grey member of the rare earth metals group, and is the most abundant of all of those elements.
Interesting Cerium Facts:
Three scientists discovered cerium in 1803, two of them independent of each other.
Jons Jakob Berzelius and Wilhelm Hisinger discovered it as a team in Sweden, while Martin Heinrich Klaproth discovered it in Germany.
It was named by Berzelius after the Ceres dwarf planet that had been discovered only two years before.
Its oxide, ceria, had been previously discovered, but limited technology kept the element from being isolated.
Five years after Humphry Davy invented electrochemistry, the scientists were able to isolate cerium.
Of all the rare earth metals—so named because they are less abundant than other metals but not necessarily rare in occurrence—cerium is the most abundant.
Cerium makes up about 0.0046% of the weight of the Earth's crust.
It occurs in at least seven key minerals, with the highest cerium content and most readily available minerals being monazite and bastnasite.
Cerium is concentrated in the soil at about two to one hundred fifty parts per million, and at about one and a half parts per trillion in seawater.
It is practically non-existent in the atmosphere.
There are four naturally occurring isotopes of cerium, with Ce-140 accounting for approximately 88.5% of all cerium found on Earth.
It is also the only stable isotope of cerium, with others having half-lives of over seventy trillion years of longer.
Others, such as Ce-153, Ce-154, and Ce-155, have half-lives of less than 0.0000001 seconds.
Altogether, thirty-nine cerium isotopes are known to exist.
One of the key industrial uses for cerium is as a catalytic converter for automobiles to reduce carbon monoxide emissions.
Cerium is fairly low in toxicity and plays no known biological role, and an average adult human has approximately forty milligrams of cerium in his body at any time, accumulated in the bones, blood, and tissues.

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