Cerium(III) oxide, also known as cerium oxide, cerium trioxide, cerium sesquioxide, cerous oxide or dicerium trioxide, is an oxide of the rare-earth metal cerium. It has chemical formula Ce2O3 and is gold-yellow in color.
3D model (JSmol)
CompTox Dashboard (EPA)
|Molar mass||328.24 g/mol|
|Melting point||2,177 °C (3,951 °F; 2,450 K)|
|Boiling point||3,730 °C (6,750 °F; 4,000 K)|
|Solubility in sulfuric acid||soluble|
|Solubility in hydrochloric acid||insoluble|
|P3m1, No. 164|
|Lanthanum oxide, Praseodymium(III) oxide|
Except where otherwise noted, data are given for materials in their standard state (at 25 °C [77 °F], 100 kPa).
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Cerium oxide is used as a catalytic converter for the minimisation of CO emissions in the exhaust gases from motor vehicles.
When there is an oxygen surplus, the process is reversed and cerium(III) oxide is oxidized to cerium(IV) oxide:
Major automotive applications for cerium(III) oxide are, as a catalytic converter for the oxidation of CO and NOx emissions in the exhaust gases from motor vehicles, and secondly, cerium oxide finds use as a fuel additive to diesel fuels, which results in increased fuel efficiency and decreased hydrocarbon derived particulate matter emissions, however the health effects of the cerium oxide bearing engine exhaust is a point of study and dispute.
Cerium(III) oxide combined with tin(II) oxide (SnO) in ceramic form is used for illumination with UV light. It absorbs light with a wavelength of 320 nm and emits light with a wavelength of 412 nm. This combination of cerium(III) oxide and tin(II) oxide is rare, and obtained only with difficulty on a laboratory scale.
Cerium(III) oxide is produced by the reduction of cerium(IV) oxide with hydrogen at approximately 1,400 °C (2,550 °F). Samples produced in this way are only slowly air-oxidized back to the dioxide at room temperature.