The purpose of this report is to illustrate the extent to which chromium was recycled in the United States in 1998 and to identify chromium-recycling trends. The major use of chromium was in the metallurgical industry to make stainless steel; substantially less chromium was used in the refractory and chemical industries. In this study, the only chromium recycling reported was that which was a part of stainless steel scrap reuse. In 1998, 20 percent of the U.S. apparent consumption of chromium was secondary (from recycling); the remaining 80 percent was based on net chromium commodity imports and stock adjustments. Chromite ore was not mined in the United States in 1998.
In 1998, 75,300 metric tons (t) of chromium contained in old scrap was consumed in the United States; it was valued at $66.4 million. Old scrap generated contained 132,000 t of chromium. The old scrap recycling efficiency was 87 percent, and the recycling rate was 20 percent. About 18,000 t of chromium in old scrap was unrecovered. New scrap consumed contained 28,600 t of chromium, which yielded a new-to-old-scrap ratio of 28:72. U.S. chromium-bearing stainless steel scrap net exports were valued at $154 million and were estimated to have contained 41,000 t of chromium.