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Cobalt chromate is used in the production of blue pigments. It has been used as a colouring agent in glass and ceramics for thousands of years. It is also used as an alloying element in superalloys, magnetic alloys and hard-metal cemented carbides.
A range of cobalt compounds are useful for their high-temperature stability, wear-resistance and oxidation resistance in the production of industrial metals, including superalloys, hard-metal alloys, magnetic alloys and high-strength steels. The most important compounds are the oxides, hydroxides and sulfates. Other products are the brown fluorides and phosphates, acetates and other carboxylic acids.
The chemical formula of cobalt chromate is CoCr2O4. It is a powder with hexagonal crystals. It can be made by a liquid reaction between cobalt II acetate and sodium carbonate, or by heating a mixture of cobalt(II) sulfate and sodium carbonate. It is insoluble in cold water but will decompose when heated.
This special cobalt chromate is used in the manufacture of a variety of products ranging from red-violet ceramics to paint and printing ink driers. It is available as small flakes or powders from a number of US companies.
Cobalt(II) oxide is produced as an intermediate product from the treatment of smelters’ leachate, which contains nickel. It is then separated from the nickel by electrolysis (electrowinning) and refined to metallic cobalt. It is also used as a trace-metal additive for agricultural and medical applications.