• Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

the chemistry of iron

Extracts from this document...


Write an essay on the chemistry of iron Introduction Iron has an electronic configuration of . It is a d-block element. Also, iron is a transition metal. It has all the properties of a transition metal, including variable oxidation states, complex formation, coloured ions and catalytic properties. General properties of iron Like other metals, iron has a shiny surface. It conducts heat and electricity well. Iron is very tough, so it is always used as building materials. Moreover, iron is cheap when compared with other metals; therefore, it is widely used in all kinds of manufacturing. Variable oxidation states Since the successive ionization enthalpies of transition metals only increases gradually and in particular, the energy difference between 3d and 4s shells is very small, transition metals have variable oxidation states. Iron has two major oxidation states: +2 and +3. Fe2+: Fe3+: As Fe3+ has a half-filled 3d subshell, Fe3+ has extra stability over Fe2+. ...read more.


For example, Fe(III) ions react with cyanide CN(aq) to give a deep blue complex . Reactions of Fe(II) compounds 1.Oxidation Fe2+ is a reducing agent and it can be oxidized by common oxidizing agents like KMnO4, conc. HNO3, etc. As mentioned before, Fe(III) is more stable than Fe(II). Thus, nearly all compounds of Fe(II) can be oxidized readily to Fe(III) in air. 2. Precipitation with hydroxide Fe2+ reacts with OHto give green gelatinous Fe(OH)2(s), which quickly undergoes further oxidation to give brown Fe(OH)3(s). 4Fe(OH)2(s) + O2(g) +2H2O(1)4Fe(OH)3(s) 3. Hydrolysis When dissolved in water, Fe2+ undergoes hydrolysis to give a slightly acidic solution. 4. Complex formation Other than forming complex with water, Fe2+ can also form complex with CN(aq) to give pale yellow . Reactions of Fe(III) compounds 1. Reduction Fe3+ can be reduced by strong reducing agents like Zn, I 2. Precipitation with hydroxide Fe3+ reacts with OH to give brown gelatinous Fe(OH)3(s) which does not dissolve in excess NH3(aq) or NaOH(aq). 3. Hydrolysis Fe3+ undergoes extensive hydrolysis to give a very acidic solution. ...read more.


Due to the presence of impurities, non-uniform packing of atoms and non-uniform thickness of water film, some regions of the piece of iron would become more readily oxidized (the anodic region), while at other regions (the cathodic region), reduction of oxygen is more likely to occur. With the presence of anodic and cathodic regions, redox reaction would occur. At anode: Fe(s) Fe2+(aq) + 2e At cathode: O2(g) + 2H2O(1) + 4e4OH(aq) The iron(II) ions formed react with hydroxide ions to give Fe(OH)2, which is immediately oxidized by air to give Fe(OH)3(s). Overall: Rate of rusting is increased by the presence of acids or other electrolytes, high temperature, contact with metals less reactive than iron and the presence of bent or sharp region in the piece of iron. Reactions of iron Iron shows all typical properties of metals. Iron reacts with dilute acids to give hydrogen. e.g. Fe(s) + 2HCl(aq)Fe2+(aq) + 2Cl(aq) + H2(g) Iron is a strong reducing agent. e.g. iron can reduce copper (II) ion to copper. Fe(s) + Cu2+(aq)Cu(s) + Fe2+(aq) ...read more.

The above preview is unformatted text

This student written piece of work is one of many that can be found in our GCSE Changing Materials - The Earth and its Atmosphere section.

Found what you're looking for?

  • Start learning 29% faster today
  • 150,000+ documents available
  • Just £6.99 a month

Here's what a star student thought of this essay

5 star(s)

Response to the question

Overall an exemplary essay piece. The introduction is neatly set out, covers the basics of iron as an element and mentions what the main topics of conversation are that the writer is going to cover. The essay also uses ...

Read full review

Response to the question

Overall an exemplary essay piece. The introduction is neatly set out, covers the basics of iron as an element and mentions what the main topics of conversation are that the writer is going to cover. The essay also uses correct scientific chemical formula for the equation. The response to the question covers all the main properties of ion with an in depth and very clearly presented chemical essay presented to a high standard.

Level of analysis

The layout and analysis of this essay is one that goes beyond GCSE knowledge in complexity. The writer also links the properties of ion with its uses which shows thinking outside the box. The depth of the essay and the clear explanations of variable oxygen states is one I would expect from an A level student. The essay covers a wide range of view points in great chemical depth.

Quality of writing

In one or two places the grammar is incorrect. For example, iron is always used 'as' building materials would be better as 'in' building material. Otherwise, spelling, grammar and punctuation are okay.

Did you find this review helpful? Join our team of reviewers and help other students learn

Reviewed by skatealexia 01/07/2012

Read less
Not the one? Search for your essay title...
  • Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

See related essaysSee related essays

Related GCSE Changing Materials - The Earth and its Atmosphere essays

  1. Marked by a teacher

    How are products from oil obtained and used?

    4 star(s)

    Uranium supplies may also run out. Geothermal power Geothermal energy comes from the earth?s core where temperatures are high and constant all year round. Water is pumped underground and gains heat energy from deep rocks underground. The heat energy is then converted into kinetic energy in the turbine, which turn the generator to produce electrical energy.

  2. The aim of this experiment is to determine the order of the reactivity series ...

    In comparison to the above my prediction of the metal that would thermally decompose the fastest was incorrect. I predicted that Copper would decompose the fastest, releasing the most carbon dioxide. I predicted this because Copper was the lowest metal in the reactivity series that I used.

  1. Extraction of Metals.

    * the metal purity required - the higher the required purity, the greater the cost in obtaining that purity Elements that are low in the Reactivity series can be found native as the element themselves or can be displaced by a more reactive element.

  2. Electrolysis of Copper Chloride

    AVERAGE NET MASS OF CATHODE (g) NUMBER OF EXPERIMENTS 1 2 3 1 2 3 1 2 3 0.25 3.15 3.15 3.15 3.24 3.28 3.25 0.09 0.13 0.10 0.11 0.5 3.15 3.15 3.15 3.35 3.38 3.40 0.20 0.23 0.25 0.23 1.0 3.15 3.15 3.15 3.48 3.43 3.50 0.33 0.30 0.35 0.33 1.5 3.15 3.15 3.15 3.60

  1. Chemical Reactions in the Kitchen

    They've created a system of interconnected proteins. The water in which the proteins once floated is captured and held in the protein web. When more heat is added, this process works faster and causes the single egg proteins to move quicker.

  2. The Electrolysis Of Copper (ii) Sulphate Solution Using Copper Electrodes

    However it could have been possible to cool the electrolyte using for example cold spray. Then the experiment could have been done at higher currents and even extreme currents. More experiments of the sort describe above would have to be conducted to conclude that the mass of Copper deposited is

  1. In this coursework, I aim to find out the different properties of gold and ...

    Hardness (as cast) Hardness (as annealed) Nine 87.5 165 Fourteen 145 170 Eighteen 105 200 Twenty two 70 70 Twenty four 40 70 Table 2: The table above displays the hardness of different gold alloys, according to two different methods of alloying: casting and annealing. Casting is the method by which liquefied metals are poured into a mold and then allowed to solidify.

  2. Organic chemistry I (introduction, alkanes, alkenes,halogenoalkanes and alcohols)

    is used for plastic handbags and rainwear. They are also used to produce floor tiles. It is also used in the manufacture of electric cable, displacing rubber and cotton. It has also got disadvantages as an electric insulator because it can melt causing short circuit when there is electric

  • Over 160,000 pieces
    of student written work
  • Annotated by
    experienced teachers
  • Ideas and feedback to
    improve your own work