Cerium – 58
Cerium is the most abundant rare earth and is found in allanite (orthite), monazite, bastnasite, cerite, and samarkskite. Its catalytic properties make it particularly important for environmental uses such as pollution control.
Phosphor coating for compact fluorescent lamps (CFL). Nickel metal hydride (NiMH) batteries. Automotive catalytic converters. Glass polishing for cathode ray tubes (CRT), plasma (PDP), and liquid crystal (LCD) screens. TV glass treated with cerium protects viewers from radiation. Manufacture of high-strength glass substrates for hard disks. Fluid cracking catalysts (FCCs) used to refine heavy oils and tars (ie. shale and oil sands sources) into light fuels like gas, diesel, and jet fuel.
Research is being done to use cerium in water purification. Production of high-strength steel alloys.