Chromium

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Chromium
Name Chromium
Symbol Cr
Atomic number 24
Atomic mass 52.0 amu
Normal state solid
Classification Transition metal
Crystal structure Cubic
Color Gray
Date of discovery 1797
Name of discoverer Louis Vauquelin
Name origin From the Greek word chrôma (color)
Uses Stainless steel
Obtained from Chromite

Chromium (Cr) is a chemical element found at number 24 on the periodic table. It is a hard, lustrous gray transition metal used in plating processes and the production of stainless steel.

Chromium is generally found in nature in the mineral chromite (FeO - Cr2O3), but can also be found in crocoite (PbCrO4). It is also an essential mineral for life; a deficiency will lead to a reduction in glucose tolerance, as several chromium (III) compounds have been found to enhance the effectiveness of insulin. However, some chromates are hazardous to one's health when ingested/inhaled.

Uses

Commercial

Chromium is used in a number of products, including cassette tapes, metal polish (green rouge), colored pigments and dyes, jet engines, and gas turbines. Silverware is sometimes also coated with chromium, since it is resistant to corrosion Perhaps most importantly, stainless steel is at least ten percent chromium. Stainless steel is used in many different products, including cutlery, stoves, gutters, roofing, cars, and much more.

Medical

Along with vanadium, chromium is one of the minerals which is believed to help control blood sugar. It is sometimes used for diabetes in place of animal insulin injections. [1] However, there has been no official study to discover how much vanadium is required by the human body, so many conventional doctors avoid suggesting this supplementation. [2] Chromium picolinate or chromium oxide are usually used for supplementation--the former being considered more effective.

References

  1. http://www.whale.to/a/diabetes_shame.html
  2. http://umm.edu/health/medical/altmed/supplement/vanadium