Recovery of cerium from glass polishing waste: A critical review

Chenna Rao Borra*, Thijs J.H. Vlugt, Yongxiang Yang, S. Erik Offerman

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review

24 Citations (Scopus)
157 Downloads (Pure)


Ceria is the main component in glass polishing powders due to its special physico-chemical properties. Glass polishing powder loses its polishing ability gradually during usage due to the accumulation of other compounds on the polishing powder or due to changes in the particle size distribution. The recovery of cerium from the glass polishing waste results in the efficient utilization of natural resources. This paper reviews processes for the recovery of rare earths from polishing waste. Glass polishing powder waste can be reused via physical, physico-chemical or chemical processes by removing silica and/or alumina. The removal of silica and/or alumina only improves the life span up to some extent. Therefore, removal of other elements by chemical processes is required to recover a cerium or cerium-rich product. However, cerium leaching from the polishing waste is challenging due to the difficulties associated with the dissolution of ceria. Therefore, high acid concentrations, high temperatures or costly reducing agents are required for cerium dissolution. After leaching, cerium can be extracted from the leach solution by solvent extraction or selective precipitation. The product can be used either in glass polishing again or other high value added applications.

Original languageEnglish
Article number801
Number of pages16
Issue number10
Publication statusPublished - 2018


  • Cerium
  • Flotation
  • Glass polishing waste
  • Gravity separation
  • Leaching
  • Precipitation
  • Rare-earths
  • Recycling
  • Reuse
  • Solvent extraction


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