Green chrome oxide, also known as chromium (III) oxide, is a very stable, durable compound most commonly used as a pigment. Because of its opacity, it’s widely used to add color, but it also has heat-resistant qualities that make it perfect for many industrial uses in paint, coatings, inks, ceramics, refractory and specialty glass manufacturing.
1. Green chrome oxide was used in ink for dollar bills
Because green chrome oxide was difficult to counterfeit at the end of the Civil War, it was part of the original ink used to print American bills. Today, the Treasury Department uses special inks and other features to increase security and prevent counterfeiting.
2. Green chrome oxide adds color to glass products
When manufacturing glass, adding green chrome oxide turns glass–you guessed it– a green color. The higher the concentration, the more intense the color. A commercial example of this is a wine bottle. It also allows some light protection to preserve the wine’s flavor. Green chrome oxide is commonly used in the production of refractory brick to line metallurgical and glass furnaces/kilns as it has a melting point of 2300°C.
3. Green chrome oxide is a pigment for paints
Green chrome oxide is often used in industrial paints where a lot of wear is involved. For example, military vehicles are painted with green chrome oxide paint. It retains its color in high heat and light exposure, making it ideal for outdoor applications.
4. In paste form, green chrome oxide can be used as an abrasive for blade sharpening
In paste form, green chrome oxide can be used to polish glass and sharpen metal blades. It’s used as an abrasive for razor stropping, as demonstrated in this video:
5. Green chrome oxide adds color to plastic products and ceramics
Not only does it add color to inks, glasses and paints, green chrome oxide also lends its forest green hue to plastics (e.g. soda bottles) and ceramics. It mixes well with clay and can be used as an ingredient in glazes.
6. Bonus fact: Heating ammonium dichromate creates an interesting demonstration
When heated, ammonium dichromate decomposes into green chromium oxide, nitrogen and water vapor. This video demonstrates a volcano-like reaction:
Speak with an Expert
Are you a manufacturer of coatings, refractories or glass? We are a strategic supplier of green chrome oxide (BassCrOx). To learn more about how BassTech International can assist you, contact one of our specialty chemical experts.