A brief review on recovery of cerium from glass polishing waste

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Cerium is the most abundant element out of the 17 rare-earth elements (REEs). The current production of CeO2 is about 54,400 t (32% of RE oxides). About 40,000 t of RE oxides are consumed by glass industry, out of which about 16,000 tons are being used for polishing applications1. Cerium dioxide is the main component (40 – 99%) in glass polishing powders2–4. It is also used for polishing silicon wafers and ceramics. The CeO2 particles in the slurry polish the glass with chemical-mechanical action. The waste slurry generated after glass polishing contains cerium together with other REEs (mainly lanthanum, neodymium and praseodymium), silicon, iron, aluminium, zinc, sodium etc. The concentration of the elements other than REEs in glass polishing waste depends on the chemical composition of the glass, additives and flocculants. The abrasive properties of polishing powder diminish due to the enrichment of the slurry with other elements with time and affect the quality of product adversely. Currently, the waste generated after polishing (CeO2: 8-80%)5,6 ends up in landfills3. Recycling of this waste not only contributes to the proper utilisation of natural resources but also makes recycling of valuable REEs possible, and it also saves the disposal cost. In addition, the recovered cerium can be converted to cerium metal and used in high value aluminium and magnesium alloys and steels. This generates highly added value from waste and closes metal loops. Therefore, this paper reviews the literature on recovery of cerium from glass polishing waste.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationProceedings of the 5th International Slag Valorisation Symposium
Place of PublicationLeuven, Belgium
Publication statusPublished - 2017
Event5th International Slag Valorisation Symposium - Leuven, Belgium
Duration: 3 Apr 20185 Apr 2018
Conference number: 5


Conference5th International Slag Valorisation Symposium
Internet address


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