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WHy OXygen can react with metal?

  1. Oct 29, 2004 #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. Oct 29, 2004 #2
    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. Oct 29, 2004 #3


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    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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