Elemental Chromium

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  1. Chromium is the 13 th most abundant element in the Earth’s crust 2. Chromium is not present in free form. It is present in form of various ores, and the most common ore is iron chromium oxide FeCr 2 O 4, which is termed as chromite. Chromite is the principal source of chromium that is used in pigments, worldwide.
  2. Chromium is a transition element with the chemical symbol Cr and atomic number 24 that belongs to Group 6 of the periodic table.It is used in various chemical, industrial and manufacturing applications such as wood preservation and metallurgy. The uses of chromium compounds depend on the valency of chromium, where trivalent Cr (III) compounds are used for dietary Cr supplementation.

The Element Chromium

[Click for Isotope Data]

Atomic Number: 24

Atomic Weight: 51.9961

Melting Point: 2180 K (1907°C or 3465°F)

Element Chromium Atomic Mass

Boiling Point: 2944 K (2671°C or 4840°F)

Density: 7.15 grams per cubic centimeter

Where Was Chromium Discovered

Phase at Room Temperature: Solid

Element Classification: Metal


Period Number: 4

Group Number: 6

Group Name: none


What's in a name? From the Greek word for color, chroma.

Elemental Chromium

Say what? Chromium is pronounced as KROH-mee-em.

History and Uses:

Elemental Chromium

Chromium was discovered by Louis-Nicholas Vauquelin while experimenting with a material known as Siberian red lead, also known as the mineral crocoite (PbCrO4), in 1797. He produced chromium oxide (CrO3) by mixing crocoite with hydrochloric acid (HCl). Although he believed a method for isolating chromium didn't yet exist, Vauquelin was pleasantly surprised in 1798 to discover that he was able to obtain metallic chromium by simply heating chromium oxide in a charcoal oven. Today, chromium is primarily obtained by heating the mineral chromite (FeCr2O4) in the presence of aluminum or silicon.

Chromium is a blue-white metal that is hard, brittle and very corrosion resistant. Chromium can be polished to form a very shiny surface and is often plated to other metals to form a protective and attractive covering. Chromium is added to steel to harden it and to form stainless steel, a steel alloy that contains at least 10% chromium. Other chromium-steel alloys are used to make armor plate, safes, ball bearings and cutting tools.

Chromium forms many colorful compounds that have industrial uses. Lead chromate (PbCrO4), also known as chrome yellow, has been used as a yellow pigment in paints. Chromic oxide (Cr2O3), also known as chrome green, is the ninth most abundant compound in the earth's crust and is a widely used green pigment. Rubies and emeralds also owe their colors to chromium compounds. Potassium dichromate (K2Cr2O7) is used in the tanning of leather while other chromium compounds are used as mordants, materials which permanently fix dyes to fabrics. Chromium compounds are also used to anodize aluminum, a process which coats aluminum with a thick, protective layer of oxide. Chromite, chromium's primary ore, is used to make molds for the firing of bricks because of its high melting point, moderate thermal expansion and stable crystal structure.

Estimated Crustal Abundance: 1.02×102 milligrams per kilogram

Estimated Oceanic Abundance: 3×10-4 milligrams per liter

Number of Stable Isotopes: 3 (View all isotope data)

Ionization Energy: 6.767 eV

Oxidation States: +6, +3, +2

Electron Shell Configuration:


2s2 2p6

3s2 3p6 3d5


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