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Advances in Materials Science and Engineering
Volume 2015 (2015), Article ID 241421, 8 pages
Research Article

Recovery of Cerium Dioxide from Spent Glass-Polishing Slurry and Its Utilization as a Reactive Sorbent for Fast Degradation of Toxic Organophosphates

1Faculty of the Environment, University of Jan Evangelista Purkyně, Králova Výšina 7, 400 96 Ústí nad Labem, Czech Republic
2Department of Material Chemistry, Institute of Inorganic Chemistry AS CR v.v.i., 25068 Řež, Czech Republic
3Military Research Institute, Veslařská 230, 637 00 Brno, Czech Republic

Received 8 June 2015; Accepted 1 September 2015

Academic Editor: Markku Leskela

Copyright © 2015 Pavel Janoš et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


The recovery of cerium (and possibly other rare earth elements) from the spent glass-polishing slurries is rather difficult because of a high resistance of polishing-grade cerium oxide toward common digestion agents. It was shown that cerium may be extracted from the spent polishing slurries by leaching with strong mineral acids in the presence of reducing agents; the solution may be used directly for the preparation of a ceria-based reactive sorbent. A mixture of concentrated nitric acid and hydrogen peroxide was effective in the digestion of partially dewatered glass-polishing slurry. After the removal of undissolved particles, cerous carbonate was precipitated by gaseous NH3 and CO2. Cerium oxide was prepared by a thermal decomposition of the carbonate precursor in an open crucible and tested as reactive sorbent for the degradation of highly toxic organophosphate compounds. The samples annealed at the optimal temperature of approximately 400°C exhibited a good degradation efficiency toward the organophosphate pesticide fenchlorphos and the nerve agents soman and VX. The extraction/precipitation procedure recovers approximately 70% of cerium oxide from the spent polishing slurry. The presence of minor amounts of lanthanum does not disturb the degradation efficiency.