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Research into Iron, its extraction and uses.

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Introduction

Chemistry GCSE Assessment Task Iron: In great demand The transition metals are placed in the centre of the periodic table, between groups 2 and 3. Iron, copper, silver and gold are important transition metals. There are three noteworthy elements in the transition metals family. These elements are iron, cobalt, and nickel, and they are the only elements known to produce a magnetic field. As with all metals, the transition elements are both ductile and malleable, and conduct electricity and heat and less reactive than other alkali metals like sodium. The interesting thing about transition metals is that their valence electrons, or the electrons they use to combine with other elements, are present in more than one shell. This is the reason why they often exhibit several common oxidation states. Name: Iron Symbol: Fe Atomic Number: 26 Atomic Mass: 55.845 amu Melting Point: 1535.0 °C (1808.15 K, 2795.0 °F) Boiling Point: 2750.0 °C (3023.15 K, 4982.0 °F) Number of Protons/Electrons: 26 Number of Neutrons: 30 Classification: Transition Metal Crystal Structure: Cubic Density @ 293 K: 7.86 g/cm3 Color: Silvery Possible impacts of mining iron ore There are three main mining impacts: Economic, Environmental and social. In each category, there are advantages and disadvantages; Economic: Advantages - - Jobs are created (less local unemployment) - Boost for the local economy (positive multiplier effect) ...read more.

Middle

It is actually carbon monoxide which does the reducing in the blast furnace. Iron ore is reduced to iron by heating them with coke (a form of carbon) in blast furnace. The iron ore contains impurities, mainly silica (silicon dioxide). Limestone (calcium carbonate) is added to the iron ore which reacts with the silica to form molten calcium silicate in the blast furnace. The calcium silicate (called slag) floats on the liquid iron. The air blown into the bottom of the blast furnace is heated using the hot waste gases from the top. Heat energy is valuable, and it is important to conserve heat energy. The coke (produced by heating coal in the absence of air) burns in the blast of hot air to form carbon dioxide; exothermic reaction releases heat. This reaction is the main source of heat in the furnace. C + O2 = CO2 At the high temperature at the bottom of the furnace, carbon dioxide reacts with carbon to produce carbon monoxide. C + CO2 = 2CO It is this carbon monoxide which is the main reducing agent in the furnace to produce iron. Fe2O3 + 3CO = 2Fe + 3CO2 In the hotter parts of the furnace, the carbon itself also acts as a reducing agent. Notice that at these temperatures, the other product of the reaction is carbon monoxide, not carbon dioxide. ...read more.

Conclusion

Machines, vehicles and building structures are commonly built from iron. The Iron Age was a prehistoric time when useful tools and weapons were first made from iron and steel. The dates this occurred in various parts of the world varies, with historians suggesting around 12th century BC in ancient Greece and 6th century BC in Northern Europe. Recyclable iron The metals are collected and then melted at high temperature. They then have any impurities scraped off the top of the container of molten metal. The pure molten metal is then poured into casts and cooled. The blocks of metal can now be used again. It is cheaper and less environmentally damaging to recycle metals rather than extract them from their ores, in the ground. Conclusion Metal's application to buildings began as an essential decorative or practical role rather than structural. Wrought iron nails, hinges and other necessary components were the most common forms but lead and copper were also used for roof coverings. More skilled use of wrought iron was made in the provision of decorative elements of buildings but the structural use of iron only began in the late 18th century with Abraham Darby's Iron Bridge made entirely of iron arches and ribs cast in a foundry and transported to the building site for assembly. Although this advertised iron's remarkable architectural capabilities few architects designed buildings constructed entirely of this material. This is just one reason why iron has been and will be in the foreseeable future, the main component of the construction material family. ...read more.

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