Iron


Iron
Iron (Fe) is the most common metal on Earth. It is used a lot because it is very strong and cheap. Iron is the main thing used to make steel. As iron is magnetic, it can be used to make a magnet.
Iron is one of the most important metals on the Earth because it can be used for a lot of jobs. If it is exposed to water, iron will rust easily.
In chemistry, iron is element 26, a transition metal in Group 8. Its symbol is Fe, from the Latin word for iron, "Ferrum".
Making iron.
Iron is made in large factories called "ironworks" by reducing iron ore with carbon (coke). This happens in large reactors called blast furnaces. The blast furnace is loaded with iron ore, coke and limestone. A hot blast of air is blown in, where it lits up the coke. The extreme heat enables carbon to react with iron ore, taking off the oxygen from iron oxides, and forming carbon dioxide. The reaction will leave pure iron on the bottom of the blast furnace in molten (liquid) form, where it can be tapped. Almost all ironworks are today part of steel mills, and almost all iron is further processed into steel.


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