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Learning Zone - The Chemical Reactivity Series

Back to Reactivity page Iron, Fe back to reactivity page

Reaction with water

Iron virtually has no reaction with cold water.

Iron reacts with steam to give iron oxide and hydrogen gas. The reaction occurs in a similar way as magnesium does, but much less vigorous.

iron + steam > iron (II) iron (III) oxide
3Fe(s) + 4H2O(g) > Fe3O4 (s) + 4H2 (g)
* Fe3O4 = FeO.Fe2O3

Reaction with oxygen

Strong heating is required to make iron powder burn in oxygen. The reaction gives out a yellow showery sparks and produces a black solid.

iron + oxygen > iron (II) oxide, iron (III) oxide
3Fe(s) + 2O2(g) > Fe3O4(s)

Reaction with dilute acids

Iron reacts with dilute hydrochloric acid to give iron chloride and hydrogen gas.

iron + hydrochloric acid > iron chloride + hydrogen
Fe(s) + 2HCl(aq) > FeCl2(aq) + H2(g)

Iron reacts with dilute sulphuric acid to give iron sulphate and hydrogen gas.

iron + sulphuric acid > iron sulphate + hydrogen
Fe(s) + H2SO4 (aq) > FeSO4(aq) + H2(g)

Iron reacts with dilute nitric acid to give Iron nitrate and hydrogen gas.

iron + nitric acid > iron nitrate + hydrogen
Fe(s) + 2HNO3(aq) > Fe(NO3)2(aq) + H2(g)

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