The mineral chromite is the only ore of chromium. Chromium is very important for
industries in the present day. It is used to produce stainless steel, and other nonferrous alloys, to
enhance their harden ability and to make these allows more resistant to corrosion and oxidation.
Chromium is used in the plating of metals, pigments, leather processing, catalysts, surface
treatments, and refractory.
Chromite is an iron chromium oxide, FeCr
. In some samples,
magnesium can substitute for iron in variable amounts as it forms a solid solution with
. Chromite has high melting point and a stable crystalline structure.
The purpose of this experiment is to determine the chemical content of a metal ore
sample though to be mineral chromite. There is one way that we can perform this experiment,
Hydrometallurgy, which is a form of extractive metallurgy that utilizes aqueous solution
chemistry for the recovery of metal form salts, minerals, and ores. It is typically divided into
three general areas: Leaching, solution concentration and purification, and metal recovery. First
step is leaching, dissolving in water or acid, separating the waste and purifying the leach
solution, and precipitating the metal. Second Step is solution concentration and purification,
which includes solvent extraction. Third step is metal recovery, which are electrolysis, gaseous
reduction, and precipitation.
Hydrometallurgy, however, is only one of several techniques that will be used to identify
the chemistry of the ore sample. Absorption spectroscopy and titration will be used, as well as
observations based on knowledge of activity levels of metals. Through these processes and skills,
the chemical composition of the unknown sample can be determined. If the unknown sample
contains magnesium, iron, and chromium, then it can be concluded to be chromite. If the sample
does not contain all of these metals, then it is not chromite.