|Boiling Point: 2945°K, 2672°C, 4842°F
Melting Point: 2130°K, 1857°C, 3375°F
Electrons Energy Level: 2, 8, 13, 1
Isotopes: 22 + 4 Stable
Heat of Vaporization: 344.3 kJ/mol
Heat of Fusion: 16.9 kJ/mol
Density: 7.19 g/cm3 @ 300°K
Specific Heat: 0.45 J/g°K
Atomic Radius: 1.85Å
Ionic Radius: 0.52Å
Electronegativity: 1.66 (Pauling); 1.56 (Allrod Rochow)
Vapor Pressure: 990 Pa @ 1857°C
1s2 2s2p6 3s2p6d5 4s1
On July, 26, 1761, Johann Gottlob Lehmann found an orange-red mineral in the Ural Mountains which he named Siberian red lead. Though misidentified as a lead compound with selenium and iron components, the material was in fact lead chromate with a formula of PbCrO4, now known as the mineral crocoite.
In 1770, Peter Simon Pallas visited the same site as Lehmann and found a red "lead" mineral that had very useful properties as a pigment in paints. The use of Siberian red lead as a paint pigment developed rapidly. A bright yellow made from crocoite became a color in fasion.
In 1797, Louis Nicolas Vauquelin received samples of crocoite ore. He was able to produce chromium oxide with a chemical formula of CrO3, by mixing crocoite with hydrochloric acid.
PbCrO4 + 2HCl CrO3 + PbCl2 + H2O
In 1798, Vauquelin discovered that he could isolate metallic chromium by heating the oxide in a charcoal oven. He was also able to detect traces of chromium in precious gemstones, such as ruby, or emerald.
2CrO3 + 3C 2Cr + 3CO2
During the 1800s chromium was primarily used as a component of paints and in tanning salts but now the primary use in is for metal alloys and is responsible for 85% of the use of chromium. The remainder is used in the chemical indistry and refractory and foundry industries.
Today, chromium is primarily obtained by heating the mineral chromite (FeCr2O4) in the presence of aluminum or silicon.
Chromium was named after the Greek word "chroma" meaning color, because of the many colorful compounds made from it.
Chromium is a steel-gray, lustrous, hard metal that takes a high polish and has a high melting point. It is also odorless, tasteless, and is malleable.
The most common oxidation states of chromium are +2, +3, and +6, with +3 being the most stable. +1, +4 and +5 are rare. Chromium compounds of oxidation state 6 are powerful oxidants.
Chromium is passivated by oxygen, forming a thin protective oxide surface layer which prevents oxidation of the underlying metal.
Chromium is mined as chromite, FeCr2O4, ore. Roughly half the chromite ore in the world is produced in South Africa. Kazakhstan, India and Turkey are also substantial producers. Untapped chromite deposits are plentiful, but geographically concentrated in Kazakhstan and southern Africa.
Approximately 15 million tons of marketable chromite ore were produced in 2000, and converted into approximately 4 million tons of ferro-chrome with an approximate market value of 2.5 billion dollars.
Though native chromium deposits are rare, some native chromium metal has been discovered. The Udachnaya Mine in Russia produces produces samples of the native metal. This mine is a kimberlite pipe rich in diamonds, and the reducing environment so provided helped produce both elemental chromium and diamond.
Chromium is obtained commercially by heating the ore in the presence of aluminum or silicon.
Uses of Chromium:
Potassium dichromate is a powerful oxidizing agent and is the preferred compound for cleaning laboratory glassware of any trace organics. It is used as a saturated solution in concentrated sulfuric acid for washing the apparatus. For this purpose, however, sodium dichromate is sometimes used because of its higher solubility (5 g/100 ml vs. 20 g/100 ml respectively). Chrome green is the green oxide of chromium, Cr2O3, used in enamel painting, and glass staining. Chrome yellow is a brilliant yellow pigment, PbCrO4, used by painters.
Chromic oxide (Cr2O3) is the ninth most abundant compound in the earth's crust.
Chromic acid has the hypothetical structure H2CrO4. Neither chromic nor dichromic acid is found in nature, but their anions are found in a variety of compounds. Chromium trioxide, CrO3, the acid anydride of chromic acid, is sold industrially as "chromic acid".
|Chrome Green, Chromic Oxide, Chromium (III) Oxide, Cr2O3|
|Chromium (IV) Oxide, CrO2||Chromium (VI) Trioxide, CrO3|
|Chromium (III) Chloride, CrCl3||Potassium Dichromate, K2Cr2O7|
|Chromium (III) Sulfate, Cr2(SO4)3||Chromic Acid, H2CrO4|
|Mineral Chromite, FeCr2O4||Chromium Boride, CrB|
|Chromium Hexacarbonyl, Cr(CO)6|
|Chrome Yellow, Siberian Red Lead, Crocoite, Lead Chromate, PbCrO4|
Chromium and the Quintuple Bond
Chromium is notable for its ability to form quintuple covalent bonds. Writing in Science, Tailuan Nguyen, a graduate student working with Philip Power of the University of California, Davis describes the synthesis of a compound of chromium (I) and a hydrocarbon radical which was shown via X-ray diffraction to contain quintuple bond of length 183.51(4) pm (1.835 angstroms) joining the two central chromium atoms. This was accomplished through the use of an extremely bulky monodentate ligand which through its sheer size, is able to prevent further coordination. Chromium currently remains the only element for which quintuple bonds have been observed.
Naturally occurring chromium is composed of 4 stable isotopes; 50Cr, 52Cr, 53Cr, and 54Cr with 52Cr being the most abundant (83.789% natural abundance). 22 radioisotopes have been characterized with the most stable being 51Cr with a half-life of 27.7 days. All of the remaining radioactive isotopes have half-lifes that are less than 24 hours and the majority of these have half lifes that are less than 1 minute. This element also has 2 meta states.
53Cr is the radiogenic decay product of 53Mn. Chromium isotopic contents are typically combined with manganese isotopic contents and have found application in isotope geology. Mn-Cr isotope ratios reinforce the evidence from 26Al and 107Pd for the early history of the solar system. Variations in 53Cr/52Cr and Mn/Cr ratios from several meteorites indicate an initial 53Mn/55Mn ratio that suggests Mn-Cr isotope systematics must result from in-situ decay of 53Mn in differentiated planetary bodies. Hence 53Cr provides additional evidence for nucleosynthetic processes immediately before coalescence of the solar system.
The isotopes of chromium range in atomic weight from 42 amu (42Cr) to 67 amu (67Cr). The primary decay mode before 52Cr, is electron capture and the primary mode after is beta decay.
|Chromium metal and chromium (III) compounds are not usually considered health hazards, but hexavalent chromium (chromium VI) compounds can be toxic if orally ingested or inhaled. The lethal dose of poisonous chromium (VI) compounds is about one half teaspoon of material.|
Most chromium (VI) compounds are irritating to eyes, skin and mucous membranes. Chronic exposure to chromium (VI) compounds can cause permanent eye injury, unless properly treated. Chromium (VI) is an established human carcinogen. An investigation into hexavalent chromium release into drinking water formed the plot of the motion picture Erin Brockovich.
World Health Organization recommended maximum allowable concentration in drinking water for chromium (VI) is 0.05 milligrams per liter.
As chromium compounds were used in dyes and paints and the tanning of leather, these compounds are often found in soil and groundwater at abandoned industrial site, now needing environmental cleanup and remediation per the treatment of brownfield land. Primer paint containing hexavalent chromium is still widely used for aerospace and automobile refinishing applications.
Trivalent chromium (Cr (III), or Cr3+) is required in trace amounts for sugar metabolism in humans and its deficiency may cause a disease called chromium deficiency. In contrast, hexavalent chromium is very toxic and mutagenic.
Recently it was shown, that the popular dietary supplement chromium picolinate complex generates chromosome damage in hamster cells. In the United States the dietary guidelines for daily chromium uptake were lowered from 50-200 µg for an adult to 35 µg (adult male) and to 25 µg (adult female).
|Ionization Energy (eV): 6.767 eV
Estimated Crustal Abundance: 1.02×102 milligrams per kilogram
Estimated Oceanic Abundance: 3×10-4 milligrams per liter