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Iron Properties




Iron is a metal in the first transition series. It is the most common element in the whole planet Earth, forming much of Earth's outer and inner core, and it is the fourth most common element in the Earth's crust. Iron plays an important role in biology, forming complexes with molecular oxygen in hemoglobin and myoglobin; these two compounds are common oxygen transport proteins in vertebrates. It is also used at the active site of many important redox enzymes dealing with cellular respiration and oxidation and reduction in plants and animals. Iron is the most widely used of all the metals. It is used for the construction of machinery and machine tools, automobiles, the hulls of large ships, and structural components for buildings. Since pure iron is quite soft, it is most commonly used in the form of steel. Iron catalysts are traditionally used in the Haber-Bosch Process for the production of ammonia and the Fischer-Tropsch process for conversion of carbon monoxide to hydrocarbons for fuels and lubricants. Powdered iron in an acidic solvent was used in the Bechamp reduction the reduction of nitrobenzene to aniline. Iron(III) chloride finds use in water purification and sewage treatment, in the dyeing of cloth, as a coloring agent in paints, as an additive in animal feed, and as an etchant for copper in the manufacture of printed circuit boards. Iron(II) sulfate is used as a precursor to other iron compounds. It is also used to reduce chromate in cement. It is also used to fortify foods and treat iron deficiency anemia.

Chemical Properties

Appearance Grey Crystalline Powder
Atomic Number 26
Atomic Weight 55.84 g/mol
Block d
Boiling Point 2862 °C
CAS Number 7439-89-6
Class 4.1
Crystal Structure Body-Centered Cubic
Density 7.874 g/cm3
EINECS Number 231-096-4
Electron Configuration 1s2 2s2 2p6 3s2 3p6 3d6 4s2
Group 8
HS Code 72052900
Ionization Energy 762.5 KJ/mol
Melting Point 1538 °C
NFPA 704 H-1,F-2,R-1,C-NA
PG 3
Period 4
RTECS Number NO4565500
Solubility Insoluble
Symbol Fe