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  Lionel Chem-Lab - Chapter 15

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NOTE:  This book was published in 1942 as a manual to accompany several Lionel Chemistry sets of the time.  While some of the experiments and activities here may be safely done as written, a number of them use chemicals and methods no longer considered safe.  In addition, much of the information contained in this book about chemistry and other subjects is outdated and some of it is inaccurate.  Therefore, this book is probably best appreciated for its historical value rather than as a source for current information and good experiments.  If you try anything here, please understand that you do so at your own risk.  See our Terms of Use.
Pages 183 - 190

CHAPTER XV

THE STORY OF IRON AND STEEL

Iron has been known and widely used as a metal for over four thousand years. Its greatest use today is in the manufacture of steel, an alloy of iron and carbon capable of being hardened, toughened and otherwise altered by suitable heat treatment. With the exception of the meteorites which fall to the earth, iron does not occur free in nature. However, the ores of iron are very abundant and the metal is easily produced from them. The foremost iron ores are magnetite, hematite, limonite and a carbonate known as siderite.

Pure iron has very few uses and is rarely produced. When other elements such as carbon are added, even in small percentages, the properties of iron are considerably changed and it becomes much more useful.

Cast iron is made by mixing iron ore with a suitable flux and reducing it by heating with coke. This operation is carried out in a large tower eighty feet high and twenty feet in diameter, known as a blast furnace.

STEEL

Steel is made from cast iron by burning out a part of the carbon, silicon, phosphorous and sulfur. The chief processes for doing this are the Bessemer Process and the Open-Hearth Process.

When the manufacture of steel is finished, the molten metal is poured into molds for castings, or cast into ingots to be forged into bars, rails, and other suitable forms for commercial and industrial purposes.

The alloy steels have other elements than carbon added in proper percentages to give them exceptional qualities of hardness and toughness. The chief elements used in these alloying processes are chromium, cobalt, tungsten, molybdenum, manganese and nickel.

Nickel steels are the most important alloy steels. Adding chromium to the extent of 12% or 13% makes steel completely rust-proof. It is then commercially known as stainless steel.

EXPERIMENT No. 427 Ferrous Hydroxide

(CL-55, GL-66, GL-77)

APPARATUS: Ferrous ammonium sulfate, sodium carbonate, calcium oxide, test tube and alcohol lamp or candle.

PROCEDURE: Prepare some sodium hydroxide solution as explained in Experiment No. 344. Dissolve one measure of ferrous ammonium

183


184 IRON AND STEEL

sulfate in a test tube half full of water. Add a few drops of sodium hydroxide and note the green precipitate of ferrous hydroxide which darkens upon standing.

EXPERIMENT No. 428  Another Way To Make Ferrous Hydroxide

(CL-77)

APPARATUS: Ferrous ammonium sulfate, ammonium hydroxide, test tube. 

PROCEDURE: Dissolve one half measure of ferrous ammonium sulfate in a test tube half full of water. Add a few drops of ammonium hydroxide. Note the dark green precipitate of ferrous hydroxide.

EXPERIMENT No. 429 Ferrous Ammonium Molybdate

(CL-77)

APPARATUS: Ammonium molybdate, ferrous ammonium sulfate and test tubes. 

PROCEDURE: Dissolve one half measure of ammonium molybdate in a test tube containing one inch of water. Dissolve one measure of ferrous ammonium sulfate in another test tube half full of water.  Add some ammonium molybdate to the ferrous ammonium sulfate solution. The brown-black precipitate is ferrous ammonium molybdate. 

EXPERIMENT No. 430 Ferrous Ammonium Molybdate Dissolved 

(CL-77)

APPARATUS: Ammonium molybdate, ferrous ammonium sulfate, test tubes, hydrochloric acid. 

PROCEDURE: Prepare ferrous ammonium molybdate as described in the preceding experiment. Add five drops of hydrochloric acid to the precipitate. Note how the precipitate dissolves and the resulting color.

EXPERIMENT No. 431 Preparing Ferrous Chromate

(CL-77)

APPARATUS: Sodium chromate, ferrous ammonium sulfate and test tubes.

PROCEDURE: Dissolve one half measure of sodium chromate in a test tube one quarter full of water. Dissolve one measure of ferrous ammonium sulfate in another test tube half full of water. Mix the two solutions. The orange-brown precipitate is ferrous chromate.

EXPERIMENT No. 432 Dissolving Ferrous Chromate

(CL-77)

APPARATUS: Sodium chromate, hydrochloric acid, ferrous ammonium sulfate and test tubes.

PROCEDURE: Dissolve a half measure of sodium chromate in a test

LIONEL CHEM-LAB 185

iron ore varieties

U. S.  National Museum

An illustration of two of the variety of forms in which iron ore occurs. The photograph on the left shows the hexagonal crystals of hematite while the one on the right shows the rhombic crystals of Swiss magnetite.


tube one quarter full of water. Dissolve one measure of ferrous ammonium sulfate in another test tube half full of water. Mix the two solutions. An orange-brown precipitate of ferrous chromate is formed. Now add a few drops of hydrochloric acid and the precipitate will dissolve because a soluble salt was formed.

EXPERIMENT No. 433 How To Make Ferrous Sulfide

(CL-77)

APPARATUS: Ammonium hydroxide, ferrous ammonium sulfate, paraffin, sulfur, candle or alcohol lamp.

PROCEDURE: Prepare some hydrogen sulfide as described in Experiment No. 233. Dissolve one measure of ferrous ammonium sulfate in a test tube half full of water. Pass some hydrogen sulfide gas into the above solution. Note that a black precipitate of ferrous sulfide is formed which, upon exposure to air, oxidizes and converts the ferrous sulfide into ferric sulfide, a brown precipitate.

EXPERIMENT No. 434 How To Make Ferrous Salicylate

(CL-55, CL-66, CL-77)

APPARATUS: Ferrous ammonium sulfate, sodium salicylate, test tubes.

PROCEDURE: Dissolve one measure of ferrous ammonium sulfate in a test tube containing one inch of water. Dissolve one measure of sodium salicylate in another test tube containing the same amount of

186 IRON AND STEEL

water. Mix the two solutions to obtain ferrous salicylate, a rust-colored solution.

EXPERIMENT No. 435 How To Make Ferrous Tungstate

(CL-77)

APPARATUS: Ferrous ammonium sulfate, sodium tungstate, test tubes.

PROCEDURE: Dissolve one measure of ferrous ammonium sulfate in a test tube half full of water. Dissolve one half measure of sodium tungstate in another test tube one quarter full of water. Mix the two solutions. The light-brown precipitate is ferrous tungstate. 

EXPERIMENT No. 436 Oxidizing Ferrous Hydroxide

(CL-77)

APPARATUS: Ammonium hydroxide, hydrogen peroxide (drug store), ferrous ammonium sulfate and test tubes.

PROCEDURE: Prepare a precipitate of ferrous hydroxide by using the ammonium hydroxide reagent. (Experiment No. 428). Add exactly three drops of hydrogen peroxide. Note the color change in the precipitate.

SUMMARY: Hydrogen peroxide, a fairly strong oxidizing agent when added to a ferrous salt, oxidizes it to the ferric state, and the color changes from green to reddish-brown.

EXPERIMENT No. 437 Reducing Ferric To Ferrous Chloride

(CL-66, CL-77)

APPARATUS: Ferric chloride, ferrous ammonium sulfate, hydrochloric acid, zinc, gas generator bottle, alcohol lamp or candle, test tubes. 

PROCEDURE: Dissolve one measure of ferric chloride in a test tube containing one inch of water. Prepare some hydrogen gas as described in Experiment No. 72. Bubble some gas into the above solution and note that hydrogen is capable of reducing ferric to ferrous chloride.

EXPERIMENT No. 438 Ferric Chloride And Ammonium Hydroxide

(01.-66, cL-77)

APPARATUS: Ferric chloride, ammonium hydroxide and test tubes.

PROCEDURE: Dissolve one measure of ferric chloride in a test tube one quarter full of water. Add a few drops of ammonium hydroxide.

SUMMARY: Ferric chloride reacts with ammonium hydroxide to form ammonium chloride and ferric hydroxide (reddish-brown precipitate).

EXPERIMENT No. 439 Slow Oxidation Of Iron Pyrites

(CL-66, CL-77)

APPARATUS: Iron pyrites, blue litmus paper, saucer.

LIONEL CHEM-LAB 187

PROCEDURE: Pour just enough water into a saucer to cover three measures of iron pyrites. Set aside for a few days. Dip piece of blue litmus paper into the water. Note the change in color.

SUMMARY: Blue litmus paper changes in color due to the formation of hydrogen sulfide - the iron being slowly oxidized to iron oxide by oxygen in the water.

EXPERIMENT No. 440 Ferric Hydroxide

(CL-11, CL-22, CL-33, CL-44, CL-55, CL-66, CL-77)

APPARATUS: Ferric ammonium sulfate, sodium carbonate, calcium oxide, alcohol lamp or candle and test tubes.

PROCEDURE: Prepare some sodium hydroxide solution as explained in Experiment No. 344. Dissolve two measures of ferric ammonium sulfate in a test tube half full of water. Add a few drops of sodium hydroxide solution. The reddish-brown precipitate, which is similar to iron rust, is ferric hydroxide.

EXPERIMENT No. 441 Dissolving Ferric Hydroxide

(CL-77)

APPARATUS: Hydrochloric acid, ferric chloride, ammonium hydroxide and test tubes.

PROCEDURE: Dissolve one measure of ferric chloride in a test tube one quarter full of water. Add a few drops of ammonium hydroxide to obtain a reddish-brown precipitate. Add a few drops of hydrochloric acid. Note how the precipitate dissolves in an acid solution proving that ferric hydroxide is soluble in acids.

EXPERIMENT N0. 442 Transforming Ferric Hydroxide

(CL-77)

APPARATUS: Ferric chloride, ammonium hydroxide, test tubes, alcohol lamp.

PROCEDURE: Prepare a precipitate of ferric hydroxide as described in Experiment No. 440. Heat precipitate thoroughly for about five minutes. Note the color formation of the solid. This is ferric oxide known as rouge in the cosmetics industry.

EXPERIMENT No. 443 How To Make Ferric Tungstate

(CL-77)

APPARATUS: Sodium tungstate, ferric chloride and test tubes.

PROCEDURE: Dissolve one measure of ferric chloride in a test tube half full of water. Add one measure of sodium tungstate to another test tube containing the same amount of water. Add one half the amount of sodium tungstate solution to the ferric chloride solution. The pale yellow precipitate is ferric tungstate.


188 IRON AND STEEL

bessemer process

In the Bessemer process of steel-making, a. blast of compressed air is forced through molten pig iron to convert it into steel.

open hearth process

Ore of less purity than that used in the Bessemer process is successfully made into fine steel by the Open Hearth process.


LIONEL CHEM-LAB 189

EXPERIMENT No. 444 Preparation Ferric Chromate

(CL-77)

APPARATUS: Ferric chloride, sodium chromate and test tubes.

PROCEDURE: Dissolve one half measure of sodium chromate in a test tube one quarter full of water. Dissolve one measure of ferric chloride in another test tube half full of water. Mix the two solutions. The pale yellow precipitate is ferric chromate, soluble in hydrochloric acid.

EXPERIMENT N0. 445 How To Make Ferric Salicylate

(CL-66, CL-77)

Repeat Experiment No. 444 substituting sodium salicylate for sodium chromate. The purple precipitate will be ferric salicylate.

EXPERIMENT No. 446 Preparation Of Ferric Phosphate

(CL-66, GL-77)

Repeat Experiment No. 444 substituting trisodium phosphate for sodium chromate. The yellowish-white precipitate will be ferric phosphate.

EXPERIMENT No. 447 Preparation Of Ferric Acetate

(CL-66, CL-77)

APPARATUS: Calcium oxide, sodium carbonate, acetic acid, ferric chloride and test tubes.

PROCEDURE: Prepare a solution of sodium hydroxide as described in Experiment No. 344. Filter solution in a clean test tube and add one quarter test tube of acetic acid solution. Shake the test tube thoroughly. Dissolve one measure of ferric chloride in another test tube. Add some acetate solution to the ferric chloride solution.

SUMMARY: A reddish-brown color is formed. This color is attributed to the formation of the complex salt of ferric acetate.

EXPERIMENT No. 448 How Ferric Carbonate Is Made

(CL-66, CL-77)

Repeat Experiment No. 44-44 substituting sodium carbonate for sodium chromate. The yellow-orange precipitate will be ferric carbonate.

EXPERIMENT No. 449 Ferric Molybdate

{CL-77)

Repeat Experiment No. 444 substituting ammonium molybdate for sodium chromate. The pale yellow precipitate will be ferric molybdate.

EXPERIMENT N0. 450 Converting A Yellow Precipitate

(CL-77)

APPARATUS: Ferric chloride, ammonium molybdate, hydrochloric acid and test tubes.


190 IRON AND STEEL

PROCEDURE: Prepare a precipitate of ferric molybdate explained in the preceding experiment. Add four drops of hydrochloric acid to the precipitate. Note how the precipitate dissolves forming a light yellow-green solution.

EXPERIMENT No. 451 Free Carbon Present In Cast Iron

(CL-22, CL~33, CL-44, CL-55, CL-66, CL-77)

APPARATUS: Powdered iron, sodium bisulfate, test tube, candle or alcohol lamp.

PROCEDURE: Put one measure of powdered iron and five measures of sodium bisulfate in a test tube. Pour water up to the one third mark and heat gently to dissolve the sodium bisulfate. Note the bubbling reaction and the odor. 

SUMMARY: Carbon in the iron is oxidized to carbon dioxide gas. The odor is hydrogen sulfide. 

EXPERIMENT No. 452 Preparing A Colored Solution

(CL-66, CL-77)
 
APPARATUS: Ferric carbonate, sodium carbonate, hydrochloric acid and test tubes.

PROCEDURE: Prepare a precipitate of ferric carbonate as described in Experiment No. 448. Add a few drops of hydrochloric acid to the precipitate. Note how the precipitate dissolves forming a canary-yellow solution.

EXPERIMENT No. 453 Decomposition Of Ferric Thiosulfate 

(CL-33, CL-44, CL-55, CL-66, CL-77)

APPARATUS: Sodium thiosulfate, ferric ammonium sulfate, two test tubes.

PROCEDURE: Dissolve three measures of sodium thiosulfate in a test tube half full of water. Dissolve one measure of ferric ammonium sulfate in another test tube half full of water. Pour a few drops into the sodium thiosulfate solution and note the dark red color. Allow to stand and observe how the color gradually fades.

SUMMARY: On standing the ferric is reduced to ferrous tetrathionate, a colorless solution.
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