Cerium is a component in misch-metal (German for mixed–metal), which is used in the manufacture of:
• Pyrophoric alloys for cigarette lighters.
• Making aluminium alloys and in some steels and irons.
• In cast iron it opposes graphitisation and produces a malleable iron
• In steels it removes sulphides and oxides and completely degasifies.
• In stainless steel it is used as a precipitation-hardening agent.
• In magnesium alloys for castings it is used from anywhere between 3 to 4% with 0.2 to 0.6% zirconium, both of these refine the grain and give sound casting of complex shapes. It also adds heat resistance to magnesium castings.
Other uses for cerium and cerium containing compounds include:
• As ceric sulphate it is used extensively as a volumetric oxidising agent in quantitative analysis.
• Cerium compounds are used in the manufacture of glass, as a component and a decolouriser.
• Cerium oxide is used as a glass-polishing agent.
• Cerium in conjunction with other rare earth metals is used in carbon-arc lighting, which is implemented in the motion picture industry.
• Cerium is used to store hydrogen as it reacts with it at room temperature to form its hydrides.