# In the chemical reaction 4Fe+3O_2 -> 2Fe_2O_3, which elements are oxidized?

Jun 23, 2018

Well $\text{elemental iron}$ is OXIDIZED to $\text{ferric oxide...}$

#### Explanation:

And we could represent this by half-equations....CLEARLY iron metal is oxidized....

$F e \rightarrow F {e}^{3 +} + 3 {e}^{-}$ $\left(i\right)$

And meanwhile, the potent OXIDANT, dioxygen gas is reduced to ${O}^{2 -}$...

${O}_{2} \left(g\right) + 4 {e}^{-} \rightarrow 2 {O}^{2 -}$ $\left(i i\right)$

WE add $4 \times \left(i\right) + 3 \times \left(i i\right)$ to get....

$4 F e \left(s\right) + 3 {O}_{2} \left(g\right) + 12 {e}^{-} \rightarrow {\underbrace{4 F {e}^{3 +} + 6 {O}^{2 -}}}_{2 F {e}_{2} {O}_{3}} + 12 {e}^{-}$

And finally....

$4 F e \left(s\right) + 3 {O}_{2} \left(g\right) + \rightarrow 2 F {e}_{2} {O}_{3} \left(s\right)$

Rust prevention is a very big deal....teams of corrosion engineers assess the degree of rust in bridges and office-blocks, and attempt to control the oxidation....