The Blast Furnace
Purification of Copper
Crude Oil
Analysing Gases
Haber Process
Solubility of Salts
Test for Anions
Test for Cations

Other Section


The Blast Furnace: Iron Extraction

Iron is extracted from the ore haematite (Fe2O3) by reduction Carbon monoxide is a reducing agent because it is more reactive than iron.

The Furnace

the blast furnace

What's Happening

In the blast furnace there are several chemical reactions taking place; that eventually result in the desired product (iron) being extracted.

The coke (carbon) burns with oxygen to produce carbon dioxide. This reaction is exothermic. The CO2 then reacts with more coke to give carbon monoxide.

C + O2 ® CO2
CO2 + C ® 2CO

Carbon monoxide acts as a reducing agent and reacts with the iron ore to give molten iron, which trickles to the bottom of the furnace where it is collected.

Fe2O3 + 3CO ® 2Fe + 3CO2

The limestone in the furnace decomposes, forming calcium oxide. This is a fluxing agent, and combines with impurities to make slag, which floats on top of the molten iron and can be removed.

CaO + SiO2 ® CaSiO3