UCSB Science Line
Sponge Spicules Nerve Cells Galaxy Abalone Shell Nickel Succinate X-ray Lens Lupine
UCSB Science Line
Home
How it Works
Ask a Question
Search Topics
Webcasts
Our Scientists
Science Links
Contact Information
How is that water molecules(liquid that comes from two gases, hydrogen and oxygen)can make a reaction with iron at high temperature, and then form rust? And how is that this rust can be recovered by using the same oxygen? Please explain. Thanks
Answer 1:

Water speeds up the rusting process because iron can transfer its electrons to water, which helps speed the oxidation of iron. The water provides an easier pathway that is available with pure oxygen.


Answer 2:

Iron is more electropositive than hydrogen, that is, iron is more prone to giving up its electrons to an anion than hydrogen is. For this reason, at high temperature, the reaction of oxygen giving up the hydrogens to bond with iron instead becomes energetically possible, producing hydrogen gas as a byproduct, releasing even more energy. At higher temperature yet, the reaction actually absorbs chemical energy, which causes it to run in the other direction.



Click Here to return to the search form.

University of California, Santa Barbara Materials Research Laboratory National Science Foundation
This program is co-sponsored by the National Science Foundation and UCSB School-University Partnerships
Copyright © 2015 The Regents of the University of California,
All Rights Reserved.
UCSB Terms of Use