Cromium - Characteristics - Occurrence

Occurrence

Chromium is the 24th most abundant element in Earth's crust with an average concentration of 100 ppm. Chromium compounds are found in the environment, due to erosion of chromium-containing rocks and can be distributed by volcanic eruptions. The concentrations range in soil is between 1 and 3000 mg/kg, in sea water 5 to 800 µg/liter, and in rivers and lakes 26 µg/liter to 5.2 mg/liter. Chromium is mined as chromite (FeCr2O4) ore. About two-fifths of the chromite ores and concentrates in the world are produced in South Africa, while Kazakhstan, India, Russia, and Turkey are also substantial producers. Untapped chromite deposits are plentiful, but geographically concentrated in Kazakhstan and southern Africa.

Although rare, deposits of native chromium exist. The Udachnaya Pipe in Russia produces samples of the native metal. This mine is a kimberlite pipe, rich in diamonds, and the reducing environment helped produce both elemental chromium and diamond.

The relation between Cr(III) and Cr(VI) strongly depends on pH and oxidative properties of the location, but in most cases, the Cr(III) is the dominating species, although in some areas the ground water can contain up to 39 µg/liter of total chromium of which 30 µg/liter is present as Cr(VI).

Read more about this topic:  Cromium, Characteristics

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