Iron chlorides colors

Green solution of ferrous chloride changes color to brown, when ferric chloride is formed

Scientific name: Make iron (II) (green) and iron (III) (brown) chloride from iron wool, hydrochloric acid and hydrogen peroxide

YouTube

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Safety

Wear lab gloves and eye protection. Prevent skin contact with acid solution. The experiment should be carried out in a well-ventilated room.

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

Reaction formula

Fe + HCl → FeCl2 + H2

2FeCl2 + H2O2 + 2HCl → 2FeCl3 + 2H2O

Step-by-step instruction

  1. Put a wisp of steel wool and pour about 100mL of water and 100mL of hydrochloric acid into the flask. Ferrous chloride is formed.
  2. When iron has dissolved in acid, filter out the formed solution. It should be lime green.
  3. Add some hydrogen peroxide to this solution (3% drugstore hydrogen peroxide). Ferric chloride is formed and the solution becomes brown.
  4. To regenerate lime green ferrous chloride solution, add some more steel wool.

Scientific background

Iron reacts with hydrochloric acid producing ferrous chloride (FeCl2) and hydrogen gas. Ferrous chloride will easily oxidize to ferric chloride (FeCl3) in contact with air and in the presence of hydrochloric acid. This reaction can be sped up by adding hydrogen peroxide.

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Published on 22 February 2015

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