Why does a piece of iron rusts?

  • Rust is an iron oxide, a usually reddish-brown oxide formed by the reaction of iron and oxygen.

  • The nature of rust changes with time, reflecting the slow rates of the reactions of solids.

  • Rusting is an oxidation reaction. The iron reacts with water (Moisture present in air) and oxygen to form hydrated iron(III) oxide, which we see as rust. 

  • Here is the word equation for the reaction:

        Iron + water + oxygen → hydrated iron(III) oxide.

         Fe  + H2O  + O2    Fe2O3·H2O


Simply Easy Learning

Updated on: 10-Oct-2022


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