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Making Ferrous Sulfate

  1. Aug 26, 2014 #1
    I acquired some Battery Acid, which is 35% sulfuric acid. I had poured some in a vial and dropped a iron nail in it. I had even heated the solution with a ligher, which caused cracks to form on the vials walls. After two days, I see a yellowish solution, with some yellow powder at the bottom. But at the cracks white crystalline substance is forming.
    It looks like this. Can you tell me if

    1. have I succeeded in making ferrous sulfate?

    2. what is the white substance?

    3. If we evaporate the sulotion what is the decomposed material left. ( if I heat the solution and evaporate it what will happen to the ferrous sulfate.)
  2. jcsd
  3. Aug 26, 2014 #2


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    Staff: Mentor

    What material is the vial made of?

    I doubt you will be able to make ferrous sulfate - in the contact with air it gets oxidized quite fast to ferric (Fe(II) → Fe(III)). Red rust is already Fe(III).

    Sulfuric acid is not the best acid to dissolve iron (nor rust). Hydrochloric and phosphoric are much better (they not only dissolve, but also complex the iron, which speeds up the reaction).
  4. Aug 26, 2014 #3
    It is made of glass I suppose, yeah I think the yellow-orange powder is rust, but then why is the liquid yellow in color? BTW I put alluminium in the acid and nothing hapened to it, should I concentrate it or something?
  5. Aug 26, 2014 #4
    Can the white solid be Zinc sulfate, since the nail migh be covered with zinc, as in the start it was bubbling vigorously, and then it ended and the nail was greyish.
  6. Aug 31, 2014 #5
    nobody is helping me :P
  7. Aug 31, 2014 #6


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    Staff: Mentor

    Was the nail a new one, or a rusty one?

    In both cases - I don't know what is the solubility of the iron sulfate in the concentrated acid, so it is possible that it just gets covered with the solid sulfate which slows the reaction down. Identity of the white solid can depend on the purity of the original acid.
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