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Help needed in purifying backyard iron

  1. Jan 16, 2012 #1
    I've extracted more than 50 grams of iron from the clay under the grass on my lawn, just to see if I could do it here in the Maryland suburbs of Washington, D.C. That was a few years ago, but now I'm thinking about how to purify it. You can see an iron ring I made at www.flashevap.com/FeRing.jpg, and you can see three ~8 gram chunks at www.flashevap.com/FeSamples.jpg from a later effort.

    There's probably a lot of carbon in this iron, because I used charcoal as the reducing agent. (Also I used a graphite rod on my stick arc welder to do the heating in a graphite crucible.) But there might be other stuff in these samples, such as, maybe, titanium, which showed up as a trace in an X-ray fluorescence test I got someone to do. I suspect there's silicon, too, and yet other stuff.

    My current purification plan is to try to dissolve one or all three of the 8-gram chunks using electricity and acid or washing soda. That is to say, I was thinking (without any practical basis for thinking about this at all) that perhaps the iron, or mostly iron, could be "deplated" from one electrode and then plated onto the other electrode. I imagine/assume that things like silicon and carbon won't make the transfer.

    I can use a battery charger for this experiment, or I can make a power supply having whatever voltage might be better than 12 volts.

    Does anyone know some tricks to make this easier, or simply possible?


    Last edited by a moderator: Jan 27, 2012
  2. jcsd
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