Physical and Chemical Properties of Iron

Physical Properties:

  •  Impure iron is grey but pure iron is silvery white in color.
  •  It is a good conductor of heat and electricity.
  •  It possess ferromagnetic properties below 700o.
  •  It melts at1536oC and boils at 2750oC.

Chemical properties of Iron:

1. Action with air: When iron is exposed to moist air, a brown layer of rust is deposited on its surface. The rust is a mixture of ferric hydroxide and ferric oxide.
$$\ce{4Fe + 3O2 + 2H2O->$\underset{\text{Rust}}{\ce{2Fe2O3.XH2O}}$}$$

2. Action with steam: Iron does not react with water at ordinary temperature. But when heated to 600-850oC, hydrogen gas is produced. $$\ce{3Fe + 4H2O->Fe3O4 + 4H2O}$$

3. Action with non-metals: It reacts readily with halogen to form halides. $$\ce{2Fe + 3Cl2->2FeCl3}$$

4. Action with sulphur: Iron when heated with sulphur, ferrous sulphide is formed. $$\ce{Fe + S->FeS }$$

5. Action with acid:

  •  Action with HCl: Iron reacts with dilute HCl reacts to give ferrous chloride and hydrogen. The reaction is more vigorous with concentrated hydrochloric acid.
    $$\ce{Fe + 2HCl->FeCl2 + H2 ^ }$$
  •  Action with H2SO4:
    Iron when reacted with dilute sulphuric acid gives ferrous sulphate and hydrogen. While reaction with concentrated H2SO4 gives sulphur dioxide gas.
    $$\ce{Fe + dil. H2SO4->FeSO4 + H2 ^}$$
    $$\ce{2Fe + conc. 6H2SO4 ->Fe2(SO4)3 + 6H2O + 3SO2 ^ }$$
  • Action with nitric acid:
    Iron reacts with dilute nitric acid to give ferrous and ammonium nitrates.
    $$\ce{4Fe + 10HNO3->4Fe(NO3)2 + NH4NO3 + 3H2O}$$

6. Action with carbon monoxide: When carbon monoxide is passed with carbon monoxide, iron pentacabonyl is formed.
$$\ce{Fe + CuSO4->$\underset{\text{Iron pentacarbonyl}}{\ce{Fe(CO)5}}$}$$

Uses of Iron:

  • It is used as a catalyst and reducing agent in different reactions.
  • It is used in dye industry.
  • It is used as a major component in electrical devices.
  • It is used in manufacturing different household utensils, industrial medical, general equipments etc.
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