Iron is a chemical element with an atomic number 26. A symbol Fe represents it. It is the most common element that is found on the earth. Unlike that of other elements, iron exists at oxidation states of -2 to +6. Elementary iron occurs in a low-oxygen environment even though it is reactive to water and oxygen.
Iron is characterized by the ability to form variable oxidation states that differ in one or two organometallic chemistry. Since iron is available in abundance in nature, it is sometimes termed as a prototype for the entire block of a transition metal. Ferric is the iron (|||) compounds, and ferrous is the iron (||) compounds.
Compounds of iron are mainly formed at +2 and +3 oxidation states. They may also occur at higher oxidation state + 6. One of the excellent examples would be potassium ferrate. In a various biochemical oxidation reaction, iron (4) acts as an intermediate. Iron cannot reach an oxidation state of +8, and it is one of the first element of its group.
Electronic configuration of iron is [Ar] 3d6 4s2. Irons peculiar crystalline structure and electronic configuration make naturally attractive to metals. It is termed as ferromagnetic materials. Iron exhibits different types of allotropic forms even though they do not contain a single crystalline structure. There are allotropic forms of iron and are termed as alpha, delta and gamma iron.
Iron exhibits these three allotropic forms at different temperatures when it cools down to molten form. The electronic configuration of Fe2+ is 1s2 2s2 2p6 3s2 3p6 3d6 and Fe3+ is 1s2 2s2 2p6 3s2 3p6 3d5. Fe2+ contains 2 fewer electrons compared to electronic configuration of Fe.
Applications of Iron
- Nitrates and iron chloride are used as industrial reagents. The iron sulfate is used in the fungicide.
- They are commonly used in the manufacturing of hulls of large ships, automobiles, various machine tools and machine parts.
- Iron Chloride used in treating sewage systems.
- Iron Sulphate is used to treat Iron Deficiency.
- Iron is nowadays used in various surgical types of equipment.