Iron burns in pure oxygen

Ignited iron coil combusts in pure oxygen and gives sparks

Scientific name: Ignited iron burns in pure oxygen

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Safety

Wear eye protection. There is a serious fire risk - a fire extinguisher should be ready. Make sure there is nothing flammable nearby.

Always follow general safety recommendations. Please note that conducting chemistry experiments you must comply with the relevant legal procedures in your country.

Reaction formula

2Fe + 3/2 O2 → Fe2O3

Reagents

  1. Iron wire
  2. Oxygen

Step-by-step instruction

WARNING! This experiment is dangerous! You should NOT perform this at home. ONLY carry out this experiment, if you are a trained chemist, and you understand local safety and legal requirements, which are required to perform such experiments

  1. Fill the Erlenmeyer flask with a stopper by pure oxygen. After this close the flask.
  2. Ignite the iron coil using the Bunsen burner.
  3. Carefully open the Erlenmeyer flask, place ignited iron into it, and close the flask again.

Scientific background

There is about 20% (by volume) oxygen in air, and due to this, iron rarely burns in air.

Pure oxygen is a very strong oxidizing agent. The combustion reaction is dramatically stronger in presences of pure oxygen.

Danger:
Coolness:
Difficulty:

Published on 18 March 2015

  • Fire
  • Heating with fire
  • Explosion
  • Poisoned gas
  • Organic
  • Electricity
  • Solution
  • Oxidation reduction
  • Color change
  • Precipitate
  • Gassing
  • Catalyst