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Which is the correct equation for the reaction of iron and oxygen, 4Fe + 3O2 -->...

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claymore | Student, Undergraduate | (Level 2) eNoter

Posted December 15, 2012 at 8:21 PM via web

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Which is the correct equation for the reaction of iron and oxygen, 4Fe + 3O2 --> 2Fe2O3, or 2Fe +1/2 O2 --> 2FeO?

Also, for both equations, is the oxidizing reagent and reduced element O2 and the reducing agent and oxidized element Fe?

Any explanation would be greatly appreciated?

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jerichorayel | College Teacher | (Level 1) Senior Educator

Posted December 18, 2012 at 4:02 AM (Answer #1)

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Both are correct. Iron can react with oxygen producing oxides depending on the oxidation states of Iron.

Rememeber that Iron can have 2 oxidation states which are ``

FeO is the product when Fe is in 2+ oxidation state while Fe2O3 is the product when Fe is in the 3+ oxidation state.

Fe is both oxidized in the equations:

`Fe -> Fe^(2+)`

`Fe -> Fe^(3+)`  

and O2 is reduced to `O^(2-)`

Therefore, O2 is the oxidizing agent and the reduced element and;

Fe is the reducing agent and the oxidized element.

 

 

 

 

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