Chromium (III) Sulfate is an
inorganic sulfate with CAS Number of 10101-53-8 and molecular weight of 392.18
g/mol. Chromium Sulfate is
famously used as a tanning agent for leather manufacturing. Chromium is an important element that crafts this compound. Its
oxidation state ranges from -2 to +6 with +3 is the most common state as it can
be found in nature and used as a tanning agent. Chromium is relatively denser
than water with specific gravity of 1.77 and can be combined with various
non-metals with high electronegativity (oxygen, fluorine, chlorine) and
polyatomic anions such as nitrate, sulfate, etc. Most chromium compounds have
bright colour. The colour are usually used for uniquely naming the compound like
Chromium sulfate is also known as chrome tan, chromium (III) Oxide as chrome
green, barium chromate as lemon chrome or baryta yellow, etc.
Chromium sulfate is produced after
reduction reaction of Chromium salt (Sodium dichromate) from Cr (VI) to
Cr(III). Sulfur dioxide is commonly used as the reduction agent.
Sodium dichromate is dissolved in water in order to prepare the substance
before it is pumped into reaction tower to react with Sulfur dioxide. The
Sulfur dioxide comes together with burner gas with 9% composition. Constant
temperature is needed in this reaction to maintain the reaction rate by
Figure 2. Standard Deviation
of U.S. Chromium Sulfate Import Gross Weight in First Half of 2016
The market for Chromium Sulfate is
promising enough for exporters. The average imports of Chromium Sulfate to U.S.
in the first half of 2016 was more than 35,600 kg with standard deviation of
15,126 kg. Taking this value ahead, the average value for each successful
transaction can range between $64,000 and $81,880, taking the average price of
Chromic Sulfate between $1.8 to $2.3. There is also a correlation between
leather and chromic sulfate. High demand of leather is followed with high order
for chromium sulfate especially for tannery and manufacturers. Therefore,
knowing the market status of leather industry will give advantage for Chromium
Sulfate market as well.
U.S. is a good market with high
demand for leather in their domestic consumption. Estimated of more than 12
billion Dollar were used for importing leather shoe to U.S. in 2013. In
addition to that, prominent European countries such as Germany, France and U.K.
contributes billions of Dollar to leather market.
As a tanning agent, Chromium Sulfate
penetrates and stabilizes collagen structure in its open form by replacing some
collagen with Chromium ion. Chromium ion will do a cross-linkage with free
carboxyl group in the collagen and make it thermal resistant and structurally
strong. The tanned leather becomes permanently stabilized in its chemistry and
structure and will not collapse when water is withdrawn from the skin. Removal
of water has eliminated the potential culture medium for bacteria and helps to
avoid the putrefaction of the hides. In addition to that, Chromium leather is
storage able, tradeable and can be easily processed in many ways to meet
special demands for its properties. The finished result is highly favoured as
Chrome tanned leather is softer, thinner, water resistant and can be easily
dyed with various colours.
Chromium Sulfate is also feasible
to create paint, ink, fixative for certain pigment dye, metal treatment and as
a catalyst. Other than that, it is also applicable to synthesize other Chromium
based retanning agent and to produce various Chromic compounds.
Chromium (III) is actually an
essential nutrient for our body and can be found everywhere. Chromium (III) is
also the ingredient to create Chromium Sulfate. However excessive consumption
might cause asthma if the person is allergic to it. Prolonged skin contact may
also cause irritation and for severe cases it may cause skin allergy; followed
by itching, redness and rash.
Chromium (VI) unlike its
counterpart is hazardous to our body as it is carcinogenic. Malignant tumour
and cancer can be cause by inhalation of this chemical. Ingestion of this
chemical by 1 to 5 grams might cause gastrointestinal disorder, severe
irritation and hemorrhagic diathesis. Therefore, tough regulations against this
hazard has been imposed worldwide.
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By : Vincent Kiathadi