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General Info
Atomic Symbol Atomic symbol::Cr
Atomic Number Atomic number::24
Atomic Weight Atomic weight::51.9961 g/mol
Chemical series Transition metal
Appearance silvery, grey, metallic, hard
Sample chromium.jpg
Group, Period, Block 6, 4, d
Electron configuration [Ar] 4s1 3d5
Electrons per shell 2, 8, 13, 1
Electron shell chromium.png
CAS number CAS number::7440-47-3
Physical properties
Phase solid
Density [[Density::7.19 g·cm−3 g/ml]]
Melting point Melting point::2180 K
Boiling point Boiling point::2944 K
Isotopes of Chromium
iso NA half-life DT DE (MeV) DP
50Cr 4.345% > 1.8x1017y εε - 50Ti
51Cr syn 27.7025d ε - 51V
51Cr syn 27.7025d γ 0.320 -
52Cr 83.789% 52Cr is stable with 28 neutrons.
53Cr 9.501% 53Cr is stable with 29 neutrons.
54Cr 2.365% 54Cr is stable with 30 neutrons.
All properties are for STP unless otherwise stated.

Chromium is an element discovered by Louis-Nicholas Vauquelin in 1797 while experimenting with Siberian red lead[1]. It is a metallic atom that is acquired in mineral form in trace amounts.[2]



Chromium is a transition metal which has the atomic number 24.(Wilbraham, p268). Its electronic configuration is 4s13d5, and has low energy. The most common forms of Chromium are: chromium 0, chromium III, and chromium VI. [3] The compounds do not have taste or color. [4]It has a wide range of oxidation states, but the most common states are +2, +3, and +6. +3 is the most stable. [5] Oxygen is what oxydizes chromium, which forms a thin protective oxide surface layer with another element. [6] This forms a spinal structure which prevents diffusion of oxygen into the underlying layer. [7] Chromium does not suffer hydrogen embrittlement, which is when a metal cracks when it is exposed to hydrogen. Chromium can get nitrogen embrittlement though. [8]


Chromium is mined as chromite ore. Chromium is not found freely in nature. Most ores consist of the mineral chromite. [9]Commercially, Chromium is obtained by heating the ore in the presence of aluminium or silicon. Around two-fifths of chromite ore is produced in South Africa. Other producers are India, Russia, Kazakhstan, and Turkey. In Russia, the udachnaya Mine produces native chromium. It is often found in soil and groundwater at abandoned industrial sites. [10]

Chromium usually occurs in the environment as trivalent chromium (Cr III), which is natural, and metallic chromium (Cr 0), which is produced industrially. [11]


Chromium's most well known use is for chrome or chrome plating. Some other uses of chromium is making or is an ingredient in making: stainless steel, chrome plating, anodized aluminium, turning the surface of aluminium into ruby and producing synthetic rubies because chromium is what makes a ruby red, yellow paint, catalysts, gasoline, chemical reagent, high-temperature electrical conductors, chromium bromide, dietary supplement, and tanning leather. [12]

Chrome engine

In the category of how it is used in food, the best source of chromium is brewer's yeast. But since most people don't like to eat it because it causes abdominal distention, other good sources are: liver, beef, oysters, chicken, apples, spinach, and green peppers to name a few. Chromium stimulates fatty acid and cholesterol synthesis. [13] It is said that chromium can be used as a weight loss agent and an athletic supplement to increasing lean body mass, also that chromium supplements can help in controling type 2 diabetes, but the evidence has not been consistant. [14]

Health Hazards

Some forms of chromium are a danger to health. People are usually exposed to chromium through breathing, drinking, eating, or skin contact. One of these would be chromium VI. It is a poisonous compound that can cause problems if ingested of inhaled. If this is done, there could be irritation of the eyes or skin , ulcers, respiratory problems, kidney damage, lung cancer, liver damage, and even death. [15] A lethal dosage of chromium is half a teaspoon. Because of the danger, the World Health Organization recomends that the max concentration of chromium in water is .05 milligrams per liter. Metal chromium and chromium III compounds aren't usually considered as a danger to health. [16] The average daily intake from air, water, and food is estimated to be less than 0.2 to 0.4 micrograms. [17]

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See Also