WHy OXygen can react with metal?

  1. WHy OXygen can react with metal?As i know , oxygen(O2) is bonded by covalent bond and it should be neutral charge. So how can the metal react with oxygen?
  2. jcsd
  3. The difference of electronegativity between iron and oxygen is greater than the one between two oxygens. That means the attraction between iron and oxygen is higher. As a result, the covalent bond between the oxygen ions break and create an ionic bond with iron.
  4. chem_tr

    chem_tr 613
    Science Advisor
    Gold Member

    Hello Miracles, you are right. However, there is one more thing; metal and molecular oxygen react in solution, that is, a very thin aqueous film formed by humidity on iron dissolves some of iron with the aid of molecular oxygen dissolved in that film. Iron has a greater stability in 3+ state, so eventually a significant amount of iron is oxidized to Fe(OH)3.

    The same thing does not operate well in copper; we call the effect as "passive film formation".
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