General Principles and Processes of Isolation of Elements: Extraction of Iron (For CBSE, ICSE, IAS, NET, NRA 2022)

Get top class preparation for CBSE/Class-12 right from your home: get questions, notes, tests, video lectures and more- for all subjects of CBSE/Class-12.

  • Metals are essential for different purposes.
  • So, extracting them from the mineral resource in a commercially feasible way is important.
  • The minerals in which the metal is present and extracted are called ores.
  • A metal that exists in metallic form, either as pure metal or as an alloy. For Example: Cadmium, Cobalt, Bismuth, Cobalt, Indium etc.
  • Alloy: It is a mixture of two or more elements in which the major component is metal.
  • The basic idea to make alloy is to make metal less brittle, hard, and more resistant to corrosion. For example, stainless steel, cast iron, alloy steel etc. Iron alloyed with carbon gives low, mid, and high carbon steels.
  • Aluminum is the most abundant element in nature. Iron is the second largest metal that exists in nature after aluminum. The process of extracting metals from ores is known as Smelting.
  • Usually, the ores contain impurities which can be removed to a certain limit in the concentration steps. After this step, the ore is chemically treated to obtain metals.
  • With the help of reducing agents such as CO, carbon, etc. the metal compound is reduced to metal.
  • Step 1-The metal oxide reacts with a reducing agent;
  • Step 2 (a) -The oxide reduces to metal
  • Step 2 (b) -Oxidation of reducing agent
  • Extraction of Metals: Ores and Minerals
  • The basic extraction of ore deposits follows these steps:
  • Prospecting or exploration
  • Conduct resource estimation
  • Conduct a pre-feasibility
  • Conduct a feasibility study
  • Development
  • The operation of the mine in an active sense
  • Reclamation is the last step in which land is made suitable for future use.
  • Gibbs Free Energy
  • Gibbs Energy Change
  • Gibbs Free Energy Formula
  • In the above reactions, the net Gibbs energy change is negative. This energy becomes more negative as temperature increases.
  • Converting solid to gas or liquid and forming gaseous states favors a decrease in the Gibbs energy for the whole system.
  • To get pure metals refining process is necessary.
  • This process depends on the difference between metal properties and the impurities.

Extraction of Iron

  • The first step is the concentration of the ore. During this step, the ore is crushed in crushers, to broke down into small pieces. This is normally done using gravity separation as iron is magnetic.
  • Step 2 is calcination. The ore is heated in absence of air. This results in decomposition of carbonates into oxides and then ferrous oxide is converted into ferric oxide.

  • Step 3 is smelting. The concentrated ore is mixed with coke, limestone and then the mixture is kept in blast furnace.

Developed by: