10 Interesting Facts About Chromium

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Chromite and Crocoite
Chromium, also known as chrome, can be highly found at a dull and dark stone called chromite. It can also be found at an extremely rare mineral called crocoite. Chromite was discovered by a German chemist in 1799. Crocoite, also known as lead chromite, was discovered at the Beresof mine near Ekaterinburg, Siberia in 1756. Crocoite is a brilliant orange crystal with a beautiful reddish orange color.

Louis Nicholas Vauquelin
Chromium was discovered in 1797 by Louis Nicholas Vauquelin, a French chemist and a professor of chemistry in Ecole des Mines in Paris. It was named after the Greek word chroma, which means “color”. Every chromium compound releases different variety of colors. He found greens, reds, and yellows in chromium. He also discovered that the Peruvian emerald and the ruby got its colors from the chromium.

Yellow Cab
Andreas Kurtz, a pupil of Louis Nicholas Vauquelin, moved to England in 1822. He began selling potassium bichromate, a chromium compound, at 5 shillings per pound to the English textile industry. Soon, competition spawns from the local manufacturers that also produce the same product and this reduces Kurtz’s profit, leading to the creation of his chrome yellow. His chrome yellow was used to paint the carriage of Princess Charlotte, daughter of British monarch George IV. This was indeed the origin of the “yellow cab” of New York City.

Pennsylvania Wood Mine
Isaac Tyson, an amateur geologist, and was one of the few that had studied the Chromium element. Isaac discovered a source of Chromium in a wood mine from Pennsylvania. At first, he saw a barrel carrying apple cider wedged by black stones and noticed that it was the same stone he was studying all over the years. He then tracked where the stones came from and then bought the land it was found. He mined over 100,000 tons of ore in the Wood mine.

Electric Cigarettes, also known as E-Cigarettes, proved to decrease exposure of harmful articles and the chances of having cancer other than the natural tobacco cigarettes. But, it has the toxic element chromium and nickel four times higher than the normal cigars.

Chromium In Steel
Steel is made by mixing iron with a small amount of carbon. This mixture is then heated so that it can be form easily and as it cools, the steel gains its strength becoming stronger than iron. This process is called tempering. 3 to 5 percent of Chromium was added to this mixture to produce stronger steel in 1865 and higher than 5 percent in the early 1900s. Nowadays, up to 60% of chromium is added to produce stainless steel utensils in United States.

Other Details
Chormium is a transition metal with a silvery-grey color. It has the same number of electrons and protons. Pure chromium has a price of $32 for every 100g. Chromium has an atomic number of 24.

Chromium Supply
Chromium has been widely used since 1800s to 1900s. The United States of America, Japan, and Europe have now exhausted their reserved supply of chromium since the dissolution of the Soviet Union in 1991. The world’s supply of chromium was not in high danger, but it will not last another one thousand years.

Extracting Chromium
To extract chromium from the chromite ore, it was first oxidized to chromium oxide and then heated with silicon or aluminum.

Harmful Effects
Chromium VI, a kind of chromium, was found very harmful to the human body. Factory workers that were exposed to hexavalent chromium (Chronium VI) showed cases of lung cancer and damage in nose, eyes, throat, lungs, and skin.

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