Chromium was discovered by Louis-Nicholas Vauquelin in 1797 while experimenting with Siberian Red Lead. After playing around for a bit with corocoite and hydrochloric acid he eventually produced chromium oxide. The next year he found he was able to obtain metallic chromium by heating chromium oxide in a charcoal oven although he believed there was not a way to isolate chromium. Louis started off life as nothing other than a peasant's son until he befriended Antoine-François Fourcroy who made him his lab assistant. In 1809 He succeeded Fourcroy as chemistry professor at the Paris Faculty of Medicine.
Chromium can be obtained by passing an electric current through some of it's compounds. To be produced you can heat chromium oxide with charcoal or aluminium which take the oxygen away.
Chromium is mainly used in Alloys to harden final products and make them more resistant to corrosion. Chromium is also used a lot in stainless steel which is used for many things. The chromium makes stainless steel harder, shinier and more resistant. This stainless steel then goes on to be used for automobile parts, machine parts, cutlery, electric cables, reinforcements and construction parts. Therefore chromium can be used in all of these things.
Because of chromium's ability to withstand high temperatures it is commonly used in refractory bricks and other refractory materials. Refractory materials can withstand high heat by reflecting it. These bricks are used to line high temperature ovens.
Chromium is mainly found in South Africa and Kazakhstan. It is not found free in nature but is found in many ores. The main ore chromium is found in is Chromite ore.
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