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Iron oxide

  1. Aug 13, 2007 #1
    Can iron oxide be reduced to metallic iron with methane in place of hydrogen?
  2. jcsd
  3. Aug 14, 2007 #2


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    What exactly does this question mean? In place of which hydrogen?

    Are you trying to pull electrons from the methane and give them to the iron? I think doing that would create something like 2 methanols, or a methane diol, or formaldehyde and 2 hydrogen cations. None of these reactions sound reasonable, so I'll guess the answer is no.
  4. Aug 14, 2007 #3


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    It depends on how you do it. If your process cracks the methane into hydrogen, it is possible. If the process is not controlled to do that, I believe that iron carbide will be formed.
  5. Aug 14, 2007 #4
    Elemental hydrogen.
    Can this be done- Fe2O3+CH4=Fe+H2O+CO2 (unbalanced)

    iron carbide= Steel, correct?
    Last edited: Aug 14, 2007
  6. Aug 14, 2007 #5


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    These guys claim to be able to do it using microwave treatment of iron oxide and natural gas. Its by Russians during the height of the cold war and I always treated those references with some skepticism..


    The usual product is iron carbide and magnetite. This is a typical application of a Fischer-Tropsch process. It allows one to convert gaseous hydrocarbons into liquid hydrocarbons. The Germans did this during the war to produce 'synthetic' fuels and lube oils. It is currently being used for the same purpose. It is a fairly expensive process but as the price of crude oil increases, it becomes ever more feasable from an economic standpoint.

    iron carbide is not steel.
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