The Extraction of Iron

This is a summary on the extraction of iron in a blast furnace - 

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Extraction of Metals ­ Iron
You will mainly see iron in the form of its alloy ­ steel. Iron is found as an ore in its oxides ­
haematite Fe2O3 or magnetite Fe3O4. Iron is extracted from its ore by reduction with
carbon, this is because carbon is relatively cheap.
The blast furnace
Iron is extracted in a blast furnace, this is a
continuous reaction, and the furnaces are only ever turned off after a few years to replace
the lining. Coke, iron ore and limestone are fed into the top of the furnace and hot blasts of
air at the bottom keep the furnace at around 1500 degrees Celsius.
Coke is a cheap form of carbon which is created by heating carbon in the absence of air.
This reacts with oxygen and more coke to produce carbon monoxide which acts as the
reducing agent.
Some of the iron (III) oxide is reduced by the coke in the following reaction:

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Because calcium oxide is a base, it reacts with silica which is an acid:
The molten carbon silicate floats on top of the molten iron and it's known as slag, this is
tapped off and used in building rods.…read more


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