As Primary and Secondary Source Cerium and Lanthanides


Cerium is known the light group rare earth element. There are no mining, which contains only cerium as the metal component. It is found in minerals that contain all the other lanthanide elements. The current production of Cerriumdioxide is above 55,000 tones and its market is expected to register a CAGR (compound annual growth rate) of around 8%, during the forecast  period 2019 –2024.

As Primary Source Cerium and Lanthanides

It is found in many minerals including monazite, bastnäsite, gadolinite, fergusonite, samarskite, xenotime, yttrocerite, cerite and allanite (also known as orthite), etc. Monazite and Bastnäsite are presently the two more important sources of cerium.

Nowadays, different industrial process are used for recovery of cerium from mining.  Pre treatment is necessary for recovery rare metal.   The ore is first subjected to mining and shredding, followed by beneficiation using flotation, magnetic, gravity or electrostatic separation. 

As a primary resource Monazite, is a phosphate mineral, which constitutes around 42–51% Ce  along with 4–12% thorium and a variable amount of uranium. It is found throughout the world in placer deposits, beach sands, and is a component of the Bayan Obo deposit.

As other primary resource Bastnäsite concentrate contains about 70–74% REO having 50% Ce with a significant amount of Nd (Neodium), Pr (Praseodymium) along with Sm (Samarium) and Gd (Gadolinium). The most important mined bastnäsite rare earth deposit is at the Mountain Pass Mine in California.

As Secondary Source Cerium and Lanthanides

 With the increasing request of lanthanides and their compounds in different technological applications in electronic devices, lasers equipment, superconductors, batteries and super magnets, separation, and recycling of lanthanides from different secondary resources have recently drawn attention.

Cerium is used as a catalyst in automobile and nuclear chemistry, NiMH batteries, FCC catalyst, autocatalyst, petroleum refining, polishing agents, as a component in glass. It is also used in car coatings, CFLs, LEDs, LCD backlights, plasma screens, which later becomes a secondary source of cerium recovery.

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