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798
IRON


mineral is not always magnetic, although invariably attracted by a magnet. It may be obtained artificially by passing steam over red-hot iron. It dissolves in acids to form a. mixture of a ferrous and ferric salt, and if an alkali is added to the solution a black precipitate is obtained which dries to a dark brown mass of the composition Fe(OH)2-Fe2O3; this substance is attracted by a magnet, and thus may be separated from the admixed ferric oxide. Calcium ferrite, magnesium ferrite and zinc ferrite, RO~Fe203 (R=Ca, Mg, Zn), are obtained by intensely heating mixtures of the oxides; magnesium ferrite occurs in nature as the mineral magnoferrite, and zinc ferrite as franklinite, both forming black octahedral.

Ferric acid, H-1FeO4. By fusing iron with saltpetre and extracting the melt with water, or by adding a solution of ferric nitrate in nitric acid to strong potash, an amethyst or purple-red solution is obtained which contains potassium ferrate. E. Frémy investigated this discovery, made by Stahl in 1702, and showed that the same solution resulted when chlorine is passed into strong potash solution containing ferric hydrate in suspension. Haber and Pick (Zeit. Elcklrochem., rgoo, 7, p. 215) have prepared potassium ferrate by electrolysing concentrated potash solution, using an iron anode. A temperature of 7o°, and a reversal of the current (of low density) between two cast iron electrodes every few minutes, are the best working conditions. When concentrated the solution is nearly black, and on cheating it yields a yellow solution of potassium ferrite, oxygen being evolved. Barium ferrate, BaFeO4-H2O, obtained as a dark red powder by adding barium chloride to a solution of potassium ferrate, is fairly stable. It dissolves in acetic acid to form a red solution, is not decomposed by cold sulphuric acid, but with hydrochloric or nitric acid it yields barium and ferric salts, with evolution of chlorine or oxygen (Baschieri, Gazelta, 1906, 36, ii. p. 282).

Halogen Compounds.-Ferrous fluoride, FeF2, is obtained as colourless prisms (with 8H2O) by dissolving iron in hydrofluoric acid, or as anhydrous colourless rhombic prisms by heating iron or ferric chloride in dry hydrofluoric acid gas. Ferric fluoride, FeF;, is obtained as colourless crystals (with 4§ H2O) by evaporating a solution of the hydroxide in hydrofluoric acid. When heated in air it yields ferric oxide. Ferrous chloride, FeCl2, is obtained as shining scales by passing chlorine, or, better, hydrochloric acid gas, over red-hot iron, or by reducing ferric chloride in a current of hydrogen. It is very deliquescent, and freely dissolves in water and alcohol. Heated in air it yields a mixture of ferric oxide and chloride, and in steam magnetic oxide, hydrochloric acid, and hydrogen. It absorbs ammonia gas, formin the compound FeCl2-(BNHS, which on heating loses ammonia, and, finally, yields ammonium chloride, nitrogen and iron nitride. It fuses at a red-heat, and volatilizes at a yellow-heat; its vapour density at 1300°-1400° corresponds to the formula FeCl2. By eva orating in vacuo the solution obtained by dissolving iron in liydrochloric acid, there results bluish, mono clinic crystais of FeCl2-4H2O, which deliquesce, turning greenish, on exsure to air, and eff lore see in a desiccator. Other hydrates are Efiown. By adding ammonium chloride to the solution, evaporating in vacuo, and then volatilizing the ammonium chloride, anh drous ferrous chloride is obtained. The solution, in common with those of most ferrous salts, absorbs nitric oxide with the formation of a brownish solution.

F erric chloride, F eCl3, known in its aqueous solution to Glauber as oleum marlis, may be obtained anhydrous by the action of dry chlorine on the metal at a moderate red-heat, or by passing hydrochloric acid gas over heated ferric oxide. It forms iron-black plates or tablets which appear red by transmitted and a metallic green by reflected light. It is very deliquescent, and readily dissolves in water, forming a brown or yellow solution, from which several hydrates may be separated (sec Souirrox). The solution is best prepared by dissolving the hydrate in hydrochloric acid and removing the excess of acid by evaporation, or b ' passing chlorine into the solution obtained by dissolving the metai in hydrochloric acid and removing the excess of chlorine by a current of carbon dioxide. It also dissolves in alcohol and ether; boiling point determinations of the molecular weight in these solutions point to the formula FeCl;, . Vapour density determinations at 448° indicate a partial dissociation of the double molecule Fe2Cl6; on stronger heating it splits into ferrous chloride and chlorine. It forms red crystalline double salts with the chlorides of the metals of the alkalis and of the 1 By solution in concentrated hydrochloric acid, a yellow liquid =is obtained, which on concentration over sulphuric acgqigives yellow deliquescent crusts of ferroso-ferric chloride, Fc3Clr~1 20. magnesium group. An aqueous solution of ferric chloride is used in pharmacy under the name Liquor ferri perchlofidi; and an alcoholic solution constitutes the quack medicine known as “ Lamotte's golden drops." Many oxychlorides are known; soluble forms are obtained by dissolving precipitated ferric hydrate in ferric chloride, whilst insoluble compounds result when ferrous chloride is oxidized in air, or by boiling for some time aqueous solutions of ferric chloride. Ferrous bromide, F eBr2, is obtained as yellowish crystals by the union of bromine and iron at a dull red-heat, or as bluish-green rhombic tables of the composition FeBr2-6H2O by crystallizing a solution of. iron in hydro bro mic acid. Ferric bromide, FeBr, , is obtained as dark red crystals by heating iron in an excess of bromine Vapour. It closely resembles the chloride in being deliquescent, dissolving ferric hydrate, and in yielding basic salts. Ferrous iodide, Felz, is obtained as a grey crystalline mass by the direct union of its components. Ferric iodide does not appear to exist. Sulphur Compounds.-Ferrous sulphide, FeS, results from the direct union of its elements, best by stirring molten sulphur with a white-hot iron rod, when the sulphide drops to the bottom of the crucible. It then forms a yellowish crystalline mass, which readily dissolves in acids with the liberation of sulphuretted hydrogen. Heated in air it at first partially oxidizes to ferrous sulphate, and at higher temperatures it yields sulphur dioxide and ferric oxide. It is unaltered by ignition in hydrogen. An amorphous form results when a mixture of iron filings and sulphur are triturated with water. This modification is rapidly oxidized by the air with such an elevation of -temperature that the mass may become incandescent. Another black amorphous form results when ferrous salts are precipitated by ammonium sulphide.

Ferric sulphide, Fe2S3, is obtained by gently heating a mixture of its constituent elements, or by the action of sulphuretted hydrogen on ferric oxide at temperatures below Ioo°. It is also prepared by precipitating a ferric salt with ammonium sulphide; unless the alkali be in excess a mixture of ferrous sulphide and sulphur is obtained; It combines with other sulphides to form compounds of the type M'2Fe2S4. Potassium ferric sulphide, K2Fe¢S4, obtained by heating a mixture of iron filings, sulphur and potassium carbonate, forms purple glistening crystals, which burn when heated in air. Magnetic pyrites or pyrrhotite has a composition varying between Fe1Sg and Fe@S9. i.e. 5FeS-Fe2S3 and 6FeS-Fe2S3. It has a somewhat brassy colour, and occurs massive or as hexagonal plates; it is attracted by a magnet and is sometimes itself magnetic. The mineral is abundant in Canada, where the presence of about 5 % of nickel makes it a valuable ore of this metal. Iron disulphide, F eS2, constitutes the minerals pyrite and marcasite (q.v.); copper pyrites is (Cu, Fe)S¢. Pyrite may be prepared artificially by gently heating ferrous sulphide with sulphur, or as brassy octahedral and cubes by slowly heatin an intimate mixture of ferric oxide, sulphur and salammoniac. ft is insoluble in dilute acids, but dissolves in nitric acid with separation of sulphur.

Ferrous sulphite, FeSO3. Iron dissolves in a solution of sulphur dioxide in the absence of air to form ferrous sulphite and thiosulphate; the former, being less soluble than the latter, separates out as colourless or greenish crystals on standing. Ferrous sulphate, green vitriol or copperas, FeSO4-7H2O, was known to, and used by, the alchemists; it is mentioned in the writings of Agricola, and its preparation from iron and sulphuric acid occurs in the T factatus chymico-philosophic us ascribed to Basil Valentine. It occurs in nature as the mineral melanterite, either crystalline or fibrous, but usually massive; it appears to have been form ed by the oxidation of pyrite or marcasite. It is manufactured by piling pyrites in heaps and exposing to atmospheric oxidation, the ferrous sulphate thus formed being dissolved in water, and the solution run into tanks, where any sulphuric acid which may be formed is decomposed by adding scrap iron. By evaporation the green vitriol is obtained as large crystals. The chief impurities are copper and ferric sulphates; the former may be removed by adding scrap iron, which precipitates the copper; the latter is eliminated by recrystallization. Other impurities such as zinc and manganese sulnhates are more difficult to remove, and hence to prepare the pure salt it is best to dissolve pure iron wire in dilute sulphuric acid. Ferrous sulphate forms large green crystals belonging to the mono clinic system; rhombic crystals, isomorphous with zinc sulphate, are obtained by inoculating a solution with a crystal of zinc sulphate, and triclinic crystals of the formula FeSO4~5H2O by inoculating with copper sulphate. By evaporating a solution containing free sul: phuric acid in a vacuum, the hepta-hydrated salt first separates, then the penta-, and then a tetra-hydrate, FeSO4-4H2O, isomorphous with manganese sul hate. By gently heating in a vacuum to r4o°, the hepta-hydrate lbses 6 molecules of water, and yields a white powder, which on heating in the absence of air gives the anhydrous salt. The mono hydrate also results as a white precipitate when concentrated sulphuric acid is added to a saturated solution of ferrous sulphate. Alcohol also throws down the salt from aqueous solution, the composition of the precipitate varying with the amount of salt and precipitant employed. The solution absorbs nitric oxide to form a dark brown solution, which loses the gas on heating or by placing in a vacuum. Ferrous sulphate forms double salts with the alkaline sulphates. The most important is ferrous ammonium sulphate.

FeSO4-(NH,)2SO4-6H2O, obtained by dissolving equivalent amounts