Rare earths… in your kitchen!

jeroenPicture taken from: http://www.molsequizzen.be/quiz_afbeelding/quiz106_ronde697_18082011095550_dagelijkse%20Kost.png

Dear reader,

At this point I think we are all familiar with the fact that rare earths are employed in a wide range of electronics of different sizes and applications but probably what you didn’t know is that they may be in your in your oven!

Cerium oxides Ce2O3 and CeO2  are usually present in the walls of self-cleaning ovens. Self-cleaning ovens are relatively new so not everybody is familiar with them but they are gaining popularity as they make your life easier (if you are too lazy and feel very sad whenever you have to clean your oven).This kind of ovens operate at 500-600 Celsius degrees in order to burn off the leftovers and spills from baking without using any other kind of instrument or chemical product.

In the self-cleaning ovens that use rare earths, the walls have porous enamel coats. On these walls particles of catalytic cerium (IV) oxide can be found which have the function of help reduce the leftovers to ashes at high temperatures. The only thing that you have to do after the cleaning is finished is clean the ashes that were generated.

If you are curious and want to see more about how these self-cleaning devices work, check this patent out https://www.google.com/patents/US3266477