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Extraction of Metals

Extraction of Iron.

Chemistry of the blast furnace.

Hot air is blasted into the furnace causing coke (carbon)
to burn rapidly producing carbon dioxide
and raising the temperature to 2000 °C.

carbon + oxygen  arrow  carbon dioxide   +   heat.
C(s)  +    O2(g)   arrow          CO2(g)             

The carbon dioxide then
reacts with hot carbon to form carbon monoxide.

carbon dioxide + carbon  arrow  carbon monoxide.
CO2(g)  +    C(s)   arrow          2CO(g)

Carbon monoxide then reduces iron in the ore to iron metal.

carbon monoxide + iron(III) oxide arrow    carbon dioxide + iron.
3CO(g)        +          Fe2O3(s)         arrow       3CO2(g)     +     2Fe(l)

The temperature where the reduction takes place is above 1500 °C.
Iron falls to the bottom of the furnace
where the temperature is approximately 2000 °C.
Iron is liquid at this temperature and is tapped off periodically.

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