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Chromium is one of the most fascinating elements on Earth. In this article on chromium facts we are going to learn a great deal about this element.

What are we going to learn? We will learn about the discovery of chromium, properties of the element, its uses, its hazards, abundance and more.

We hope you are ready.

But, before we start with the facts, let us take a quick look at the isotopes of chromium.

Isotope NameType and AbundanceHalf-Life (HL)
42CrRadioactive13.3 milliseconds
43CrRadioactive20.6 milliseconds
44CrRadioactive42.8 milliseconds
45CrRadioactive60.9 milliseconds
46CrRadioactive0.26 seconds
47CrRadioactive500 milliseconds
48CrRadioactive21.56 hours
49CrRadioactive42.3 minutes
50CrRadioactive> 1.3×10+18 years
51CrRadioactive27.70 days
52CrStable, 83.789% natural abundanceStable so no HL
53CrStable, 9.501% natural abundanceStable so no HL
54CrStable, 2.365% natural abundanceStable so no HL
55CrRadioactive3.497 minutes
56CrRadioactive5.94 minutes
57CrRadioactive21.1 seconds
58CrRadioactive7 seconds
59CrRadioactive1.05 seconds
60CrRadioactive0.49 seconds
61CrRadioactive243 milliseconds
62CrRadioactive206 milliseconds
63CrRadioactive129 milliseconds
64CrRadioactive48 milliseconds
65CrRadioactive28 milliseconds
66CrRadioactive23 milliseconds
67CrRadioactiveNo Data Available
68CrRadioactive> 360 nanoseconds

Now that we have looked into the isotopes of chromium, let us learn the facts as promised.

Chromium Facts: 1-12

Chromium Facts: Some quick data

1. Chromium element takes 24th position in the periodic table.

2. Chromium element has a symbol Cr.

3. Chromium belongs to the family of Transition Metals.

4. It is silver-gray in color and is a solid at room temperature.

5. Chromium’s atomic weight is 51.99.

6. It has a melting point of 2180 K ​or 1907 °C or ​3465 °F.

Chromium Facts: Some quick data

7. The boiling point of Chromium is 2944 K ​or 2671 °C or​4840 °F.

8. Chromium element’s density at 20 degrees Celsius is 7.19 g/cm3.

9. It has 24 electrons, 24 protons, and 28 neutrons (as found in the most abundant isotope).

10. It has an electric configuration of 1s22s22p63s23p63d54s1.

11. There are around 27 known isotopes of the chromium element out of which 3 are stable.

12. It has an atomic radius of 128 ppm and has hardness of 8.5.

Chromium Facts: 13-26

Chromium Facts: Discovery of Chromium

13. Johann Gottlob Lehmann found an orange reddish mineral on 26 July, 1761 in Ural Mountains’ Beryozovskoye mines.

14. He named it as Siberian red lead because he confused it as a lead compound with parts of iron and Selenium.

15. The mineral is now known as crocoite, a lead chromate.

16. In the year 1770, Peter Simon Pallas visited Beryozovskoye mines and found a red lead mineral which was useful as pigment in paints.

17. From then, this mineral was widely used as a pigment in paints in that region.

18. Nicolas Louis Vauquelin, a French chemist, obtained this mineral in the year 1794.

19. Vauquelin boiled the Siberian red lead with potassium carbonate to produce a yellow chromic acid containing potassium salt solution and lead carbonate.

Chromium Facts: Discovery of Chromium

20. He made further experiments on the solution and was convinced that he discovered a new metal.

21. He was also the one who isolated the metal in 1797.

22. Vauquelin removed lead from Siberian red lead by precipitating it with hydrochloric acid.

23. Vauquelin then evaporated the mineral sample and got the oxide. He heated this oxide in a charcoal oven and isolated Chromium.

24. He identified trace amounts of Chromium in ruby and emerald precious stones.

25. The element Chromium is named after Greek God “Chroma” which means color because it forms different and varied colorful compounds.

26. This name was suggested by two French chemists, René-Just Haüy and Antoine-François de Fourcroy.

Chromium Facts: 27-34 | Properties of Chromium

27. Chromium (III) oxide produces green color, lead chromate produces yellow color, chromium trioxide produces red color and anhydrous chromium chloride produces purple color.

28. Chromium is a transition metal. One of the properties of transitional elements is that they form different colored compounds.

29. It is extremely hard. Did you know that Chromium is the third hardest element just behind Carbon (the hardest) and Boron (second hardest)?

30. It is resistant to tarnishing and hence, used in preserving other metals’ outermost layer from corroding. Other metals like Magnesium, Aluminum, Copper etc. aren’t resistant to tarnishing.

31. Chromium’s melting point and boiling point are lower than other transition metals.

32. It has high reflectance compared to other transition elements. Its reflectance remains higher even after mixing with steel and other alloys.

Reflectance of the surface of a material is its effectiveness in reflecting any radiant energy such as light.

33. When Chromium starts getting oxidized, the upper layer which gets oxidized first makes a dense protective layer which stops further oxidation of the metal.

34. Chromium has +3 and +6 as its most common oxidation state. Compounds of Chromium with +1, +4, +5 oxidation states are rare but they exist.

Chromium Facts: 35-59

Chromium Facts: Uses of Chromium

35. Chromium is very important alloying material especially for steel because of its corrosion resistance and ability of forming stable and strong metal carbides.

36. High-speed tool steels contain about 3 to 5% of chromium. A minimum of 11% of chromium is present in stainless steel.

37. Chromium makes stable and strong superalloys with Nickel. Inconel 718 (nickel-chromium based superalloy) contains about 18.6% chromium.

38. These superalloys are used in gas turbines, jet engines etc. because of their resistance to high temperature.

39. Did you know that 85% of chromium is used for making alloys and super alloys?

Chromium Facts: Uses of Chromium

40. Because of its hardness and resistance to corrosion chromium is also used for surface coating. It is the most popular element for sheet coating.

41. Chromium was used as dye for paintings since antiquity. In the 19th century, it was used as a constituent of paints and also for tanning salts.

42. It produces a yellow color which darkens after application. The school buses in USA and postal services in Europe used chromium-based yellow color.

43. Use of chromium-based yellow color was discontinued however because of the environmental and safety concerns.

44. Other colors that chromium produces and are used as pigments are red, a mixture of chrome yellow and Prussian blue, green etc.

Chromium Facts: Uses of Chromium

45. Chromium is also used as glaze for the ceramics and as green pigment for glassmaking.

46. It is also used in cladding coatings.

47. Chromium pigment is also used in infrared reflecting paints which the army uses to paint their vehicles so that the infrared reflectance of their vehicles and the leaves are same.

48. Natural rubies which have a tinge of red contain chromium.

49. Chromium element is necessary to make synthetic rubies.

Chromium Facts: Uses of Chromium

50. Did you know that synthetic ruby was actually the basis of laser produced in the year 1960? Light that is emitted from the atoms of Chromium in that crystal is nothing but laser.

51. Chromium salts are toxic and hence are used to preserve wood.

52. The salts of chromium element are also used to tan leather (90% of the leather is tanned this way).

53. Chromium stabilizes the leather. The leather which is tanned by chromium has around 3 to 5% of chromium in it.

54. Compounds of chromium element like chromite, chromium oxide etc. are used as material for cement kilns, blast furnaces, molds to fire bricks etc.

Chromium Facts: Uses of Chromium

55. Chromium compounds also act as good catalysts to produce hydrocarbons.

56. Chromium oxide is a magnetic compound of chromium. It is used in standard audio cassettes.

57. Chromium oxide is also a metal polish which is generally known as ‘green rouge’.

58. Chromic acid is an oxidizing agent and is used in cleaning laboratory glassware.

59. Chrome alum is used as a mordant or a fixing agent for dyes in tanning and in fabrics.

Chromium Facts: 60-68 | Abundance and Availability

60. Chromium element is the 13th most abundant element in our earth’s crust.

61. We get chromium from the erosion of rocks which contain chromium.

62. Minute traces of chromium is also found in atmosphere, soil, freshwater, sediments, seawater, vegetation etc.

63. Chromite is the main ore of chromium element that is mined from the earth’s crust.

64. Native chromium deposits (chromium element found in pure metallic form) are also present but are very rare.

65. Such deposits are present in Udachnaya Pipe which is in Russia. It has diamonds and elemental chromium.

66. In 1827, chromite deposits were found near United States’ Baltimore which made US the largest producer of Chromium till the year 1848.

67. Largest producers of chromium element in the world are South Africa (48%). Next comes Kazakhstan with production of 13% of chromium.

68. Turkey with 11% and India with 11% of chromium production take 3rd and 4th place. The other countries make up the rest of 18% of the production of chromium element.

Chromium Facts: 69-89

Chromium Facts: Chromium and Health

69. The health benefits of chromium element are highly debatable. US National Institutes of Health accepted chromium as trace element for its functioning in the action of insulin (Want to know more about insulin and its functions? Then checkout our detailed article on endocrine system).

70. However, the mechanism of chromium’s action is not properly defined which leaves the question whether chromium is important for healthy people or not.

71. Chromium with 6 oxidation state is extremely toxic and is mutagenic if inhaled. Consumption of this chromium form via water is linked to tumors in stomach, may cause allergic contact dermatitis.

72. Deficiency of chromium with 3 oxidation state in our body is again controversial. It is considered that it has some role in glucose tolerance factor.

73. Content of chromium element in our foods is pretty low. Chromium may leach into foods cooked in new stainless-steel utensils.

74. The consideration of chromium as an essential nutrient is also debatable. European Food Safety Authority (EFSA) doesn’t consider it as essential nutrient.

75. Governmental departments related to food and health of USA, India, New Zealand, Japan, Australia etc. consider chromium element as essential nutrient.

Chromium Facts: Chromium and Health

76. We have already mentioned that content of chromium is very low in our foods but a lot of plant and animal food varieties have chromium.

77. The content of chromium in our food is also dependent on the chromium content in soil, the processing method of the food, and the content of chromium in the cooking utensils.

78. A study conducted in Mexico stated that around 30 micrograms of chromium is the average daily consumption of people.

79. Around 31% of people in USA consume nearly 25 to 60 micrograms of chromium who take multi-vitamin or mineral tablets.

80. Chromium is encouraged as dietary supplement for sport efficiency because of its effect on insulin and faster recovery of the storage of glycogen.

81. Chromium element is also used in weight loss. Two reviews have concluded that chromium supplements are helpful in weight loss.

82. However, EFSA has concluded after considering these reviews that there is no significant data to support the claim.

Chromium Facts: Chromium and Health

83. EFSA agreed that chromium has a role in macronutrient metabolism of the concentration of normal blood glucose.

84. But it didn’t agree to the claims of weight loss or reduction of fatigue.

85. Chromium’s role in reducing diabetes type 2 is again debatable till today. But it is a little positive with many reviews stating that the chromium did help decreasing diabetes type 2.

86. Industrial waste that contain chromium effects the fish very badly.

87. Recommended exposure limit ranges from 0.5 mg/m3 to 1 mg/m3. Consumption of 250 mg/m3 chromium is fatal.

88. Chromium compounds with 6 as its oxidation state damages liver, kidneys, blood cells through oxidation.

89. Salts of chromium are also equally dangerous. It causes contact dermatitis, allergic contact dermatitis, skin ulcers etc. Hence it is infamously called “chrome ulcers”.

Chromium Facts: 90 | Chromium Price

90. Cost of one kilogram of pure chromium is 320 USD and bulk chromium is mere 28 dollars.

Source: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9

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