Atomic number 24. They call it Chromium. Chromium was discovered in 1797 by Louis Vauquelin of France. Since its discovery, chromium has been used in the chemical, leather tanning, and pigment industries. Chromium is stable under normal conditions, insoluble in water, resistant to chemical corrosion, and, unlike many materials, may be safely and easily handled without special precautions. The metal is usually produced by reducing the oxide with aluminum. The primary ore is chromite, which is found in Zimbabwe, Russia, Transvaal, Turkey, Iran, Albania, Finland, Democratic Republic of Madagascar, and the Philippines.
Since chromium has such a high corrosion resistance, and such a high melting point of 1857 degrees C, it is used in stainless steel, super alloys, and electronics. A lot of chromium is used in plating to produce a hard beautiful surface and to prevent corrosion. The refractory industry has found chromite useful for forming bricks and shapes, because it has a high melting point, moderate thermal expansion, and stability of crystalline structure. High-grade stainless steels are made possible because of additions of chromium metal. Stainless steels are essential to the safe and environmentally sound operation of food processing operations, chemical plants, nuclear power generation facilities, and other critical industries. Chromium is also a critical ingredient in various types of super alloys, which are essential to the aerospace and nuclear power industries. Chromium metal has become needed in the production of computer hard disks, photomasks, integrated circuits, and liquid crystal displays.
Chromium is a critical factor in health and well being. Chromium is involved in the metabolism of glucose and is needed for energy. It is vital in the synthesis of cholesterol, fats, and protein. The average American diet is chromium deficient, and because of this, the ability to maintain a normal blood sugar is jeopardized by the lack of chromium in our soil and water supply and by a diet high in white refined sugar, refined white flour, and junk foods.
Every compound of chromium is colored. The most important two compounds of chromium are sodium chromate and potassium chromate. The dichromates and the potassium and ammonium chrome alums are also very important. The dichromates are used as oxidizing agents in quantitative analysis, and also in tanning leather. Chromium gives glass an emerald color, and is widely used as a catalyst. Lead chromate is chrome yellow, which is a valued pigment and is of great industrial value.