Lanthanum oxide occurs in monazite and bastnaesite. Pure lanthanum can be obtained by the reduction of lanthanum fluoride using calcium metal.
Lanthanum (as LaNi5H7) is used in large quantities in nickel metal hydride (NiMH) rechargeable batteries for hybrid automobiles, as well as in hydrogen fuel cells (as H3La), as a petroleum cracking catalyst (FCC) and in mischmetal.
Lanthanum oxide is used for optical glasses and night-vision goggles. It is used in arc-tungsten welding electrodes and in automobile exhaust converters.