AskDefine | Define dichromate

Dictionary Definition

dichromate n : a salt of the hypothetical dichromic acid [syn: bichromate]

User Contributed Dictionary



  1. any salt of dichromic acid; in solution the orange dichromate anion (Cr2O72-) is in equilibrium with the yellow chromate anion (CrO42-), the relative amount of each ion depending on the pH; they are both very powerful oxidizing agents

Derived terms

Extensive Definition

Chromates and dichromates are salts of chromic acid and dichromic acid, respectively. Chromate salts contain the chromate ion, CrO42−, and have an intense yellow color. Dichromate salts contain the dichromate ion, Cr2O72−, and have an intense orange color.


2 CrO42− + 2 H3O+ ⇌ Cr2O72− + 3 H2O
This equilibrium can be pushed towards dichromate by lowering the pH (making the solution more acidic) or in the other direction towards chromate by raising the pH to basic. This is a classic example of Le Chatelier's principle at work. This equilibrium is also dependant on concentration of Chromium in solution.
  • They are used in environmental analysis to measure chemical oxygen demand (COD).
  • They are carcinogenic. All hexavalent chromium compounds are considered toxic and carcinogenic.
  • When used as oxidizing agents or titrants in a redox chemical reaction, they will turn into trivalent chromium, Cr3+, which has a distinctively different blue-green color.
  • The sodium (Na+), potassium (K+), and ammonium (NH4+) salts are water soluble granular solids and are the most commonly used chromate or dichromate chemical reagents. Most chromate and dichromate salts of heavy metals, lanthanides or alkaline earth metals are only very slightly soluble in water and are thus of much less usefulness.
  • Chromate conversion coatings are applied to metals for corrosion protection, and to improve paint adhesion.
  • The use of chromate compounds in manufactured goods is restricted in the EU (and by market commonality the rest of the world) by EU Parliament directive 2002/95/EC


See also

dichromate in German: Chromate
dichromate in Hebrew: כרומט
dichromate in Dutch: Chromateren
dichromate in Portuguese: Cromato
dichromate in Russian: Хроматы
dichromate in Finnish: Kromaatti
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