Chromium

Chromium is a chemical element with the symbol Cr and atomic number 24. It is the first element in group 6. It is a steely-grey, lustrous, hard, and brittle transition metal.[4] Chromium is the main additive in stainless steel, to which it adds anti-corrosive properties. Chromium is also highly valued as a metal that is able to be highly polished while resisting tarnishing. Polished chromium reflects almost 70% of the visible spectrum, and almost 90% of infrared light.[5] The name of the element is derived from the Greek word χρῶμα, chrōma, meaning color,[6] because many chromium compounds are intensely colored.

Chromium, 24Cr
Chromium
Appearancesilvery metallic
Standard atomic weight Ar, std(Cr)51.9961(6)[1]
Chromium in the periodic table
Hydrogen Helium
Lithium Beryllium Boron Carbon Nitrogen Oxygen Fluorine Neon
Sodium Magnesium Aluminium Silicon Phosphorus Sulfur Chlorine Argon
Potassium Calcium Scandium Titanium Vanadium Chromium Manganese Iron Cobalt Nickel Copper Zinc Gallium Germanium Arsenic Selenium Bromine Krypton
Rubidium Strontium Yttrium Zirconium Niobium Molybdenum Technetium Ruthenium Rhodium Palladium Silver Cadmium Indium Tin Antimony Tellurium Iodine Xenon
Caesium Barium Lanthanum Cerium Praseodymium Neodymium Promethium Samarium Europium Gadolinium Terbium Dysprosium Holmium Erbium Thulium Ytterbium Lutetium Hafnium Tantalum Tungsten Rhenium Osmium Iridium Platinum Gold Mercury (element) Thallium Lead Bismuth Polonium Astatine Radon
Francium Radium Actinium Thorium Protactinium Uranium Neptunium Plutonium Americium Curium Berkelium Californium Einsteinium Fermium Mendelevium Nobelium Lawrencium Rutherfordium Dubnium Seaborgium Bohrium Hassium Meitnerium Darmstadtium Roentgenium Copernicium Nihonium Flerovium Moscovium Livermorium Tennessine Oganesson


Cr

Mo
vanadiumchromiummanganese
Atomic number (Z)24
Groupgroup 6
Periodperiod 4
Block  d-block
Electron configuration[Ar] 3d5 4s1
Electrons per shell2, 8, 13, 1
Physical properties
Phase at STPsolid
Melting point2180 K (1907 °C, 3465 °F)
Boiling point2944 K (2671 °C, 4840 °F)
Density (near r.t.)7.19 g/cm3
when liquid (at m.p.)6.3 g/cm3
Heat of fusion21.0 kJ/mol
Heat of vaporization347 kJ/mol
Molar heat capacity23.35 J/(mol·K)
Vapor pressure
P (Pa) 1 10 100 1 k 10 k 100 k
at T (K) 1656 1807 1991 2223 2530 2942
Atomic properties
Oxidation states−4, −2, −1, 0, +1, +2, +3, +4, +5, +6 (depending on the oxidation state, an acidic, basic, or amphoteric oxide)
ElectronegativityPauling scale: 1.66
Ionization energies
  • 1st: 652.9 kJ/mol
  • 2nd: 1590.6 kJ/mol
  • 3rd: 2987 kJ/mol
  • (more)
Atomic radiusempirical: 128 pm
Covalent radius139±5 pm
Color lines in a spectral range
Spectral lines of chromium
Other properties
Natural occurrenceprimordial
Crystal structure body-centered cubic (bcc)
Speed of sound thin rod5940 m/s (at 20 °C)
Thermal expansion4.9 µm/(m⋅K) (at 25 °C)
Thermal conductivity93.9 W/(m⋅K)
Electrical resistivity125 nΩ⋅m (at 20 °C)
Magnetic orderingantiferromagnetic (rather: SDW)[2]
Molar magnetic susceptibility+280.0×10−6 cm3/mol (273 K)[3]
Young's modulus279 GPa
Shear modulus115 GPa
Bulk modulus160 GPa
Poisson ratio0.21
Mohs hardness8.5
Vickers hardness1060 MPa
Brinell hardness687–6500 MPa
CAS Number7440-47-3
History
Discovery and first isolationLouis Nicolas Vauquelin (1794, 1797)
Main isotopes of chromium
Iso­tope Abun­dance Half-life (t1/2) Decay mode Pro­duct
50Cr 4.345% stable
51Cr syn 27.7025 d ε 51V
γ
52Cr 83.789% stable
53Cr 9.501% stable
54Cr 2.365% stable
 Category: Chromium
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Ferrochromium alloy is commercially produced from chromite by silicothermic or aluminothermic reactions and chromium metal by roasting and leaching processes followed by reduction with carbon and then aluminium. Chromium metal is of high value for its high corrosion resistance and hardness. A major development in steel production was the discovery that steel could be made highly resistant to corrosion and discoloration by adding metallic chromium to form stainless steel. Stainless steel and chrome plating (electroplating with chromium) together comprise 85% of the commercial use.

In the United States, trivalent chromium (Cr(III)) ion is considered an essential nutrient in humans for insulin, sugar, and lipid metabolism.[7] However, in 2014, the European Food Safety Authority, acting for the European Union, concluded that there was insufficient evidence for chromium to be recognized as essential.[8]

While chromium metal and Cr(III) ions are considered non-toxic, hexavalent chromium, Cr(VI), is toxic and carcinogenic. Abandoned chromium production sites often require environmental cleanup.[9]