Chemical Element: chromium

(Modern Latin: chemical element; from Greek, chroma, color; because many of its compounds are colored; metal)

Chemical-element Information

Symbol: Cr
Atomic number: 24
Year discovered: 1797

Discovered by: Louis-Nicolas Vauquelin (1763-1829), a French chemist; Count Antoine-Fransois de Klein, French chemist; and René-Just Haüy (1743-1822), a French mineralogist.

  • In a mid 18th century analysis of “red lead” (crocoite) from Siberia showed that it contained a great deal of lead, but there was also another material that was eventually identified as chromium oxide.
  • Chromium oxide was discovered in 1797 by Louis-Nicholas Vauquelin, who produced the metal itself in the following year.
  • Starting from crocoite, the procedure was to powder the mineral and to precipitate the lead out through its reaction with hydrochloric acid. The residue was chromium oxide.
  • Heating this oxide in an oven resulted in the metal itself.

Name in other languages:

French: chrome

German: Chrom

Italian: cromo

Spanish: cromo

Information about other elements may be seen at this Chemical Elements List.

A special unit about words that include chemo-, chem- may be seen here.