Instructables

How do you make iron oxide?

I was wondering how do you do it by electrolysis.


Berkin4 years ago
Very easy. Take a large electrolysis cell filled with saltwater and a splash of household hydrogen peroxide, then get a very pure carbon electrode and a large steel bolt of some sort.

The carbon electrode will be your cathode, and the steel bolt will be your anode. Apply power of about ~5V 2A for a day.

Once the electrolysis is done, simply pour the dark, gunky fluid through a couple of coffee filters to obtain the iron oxide mush. Proceed to heat it in order to dehydrate it and convert it to a usable dry powder.

If your product is black instead of orange, this simply means it is a different oxide of iron. In most cases, heating it will break it down to the orange oxide.
your dog (author)  Berkin4 years ago
which is positive and which is negative? 
and what is a pure carbon electrode?
i feel stupid.
Berkin your dog4 years ago
You need a carbon electrode from a dry cell battery.

The anode is positive and the cathode is negative, on a plugin power supply.
CrLz4 years ago
I used to spray steel wool pads with water and let them rust.  Kept in a warm humid environment, the pads would rust in a week.  I'd set them up on newspaper and just collect the remainders into a coffee can.

Can do some fun things with iron-oxide...
Anyone here ever hear of thermite?
Ya- you know how it goes.  Go to college, start listening to Godspeed You! Black Emperor, somebody hands you a copy of "The Monkey Wrench Gang" and you think, "Hey that stuff sounds fun..."

I remember my high school chemistry teacher demonstrating the reaction.  He put a small amount in a clay flower pot, hung from a tripod, over the side walk outside our classroom.  The thermite burned through the pot and into the sidewalk.  He summed up, "don't tell anyone about this, I'm new."
set a wad of XXX or finer steel wool on fire ,  believe me ,  it will ignite and leaves pure ( nearly ) iron oxide behind
judith_ou4 years ago

Why do you want to use electrolysis? Just put an iron nail in some water or acid and there you go.
Electrolysis would be useful to inverse the reaction, as electricity would be needed for that.

 Iron oxide will actually dissolve in acid.  In industry, when they use acid to dissolve rust, they use a special regeneration technique to recover iron oxide.  The main reason to use electrolysis to produce iron oxide is that it speeds up the reaction a lot.  It can take a fair bit of time to rust through large pieces just in water.
your dog (author)  judith_ou4 years ago

which would be faster- water or acid?

garrett104 years ago
Iron oxide is Fe2O3. (IT IS RUST.) Just scrape rust off a rusy nail