Rust is simply a series of iron oxides formed in the reaction of iron and oxygen with the presence of water or air moisture mixed in. Another term for rusting is corrosion’. Join iron with water and oxygen and, given enough time, it’ll turn wholly into a pile of rust.
A simplified and more common name for iron oxide would be RUST. So the chemical compound for rust would is Fe203. Iron is a very readily-combining substance. It is so rare to discover pure and untainted iron that your best bet would be finding it amid nature, with a small chance even at that.
In the above equation, iron is joined with oxygen to form an entirely new compound, rust, or iron oxide!
Joined with oxygen and water, or other strong oxidant or acid, iron will surely rust. You could even add salt to the water to speed up the process.
When iron rusts, it goes through an ELECTROCHEMICAL process (corrosion). During this process, the electrons in the iron are transferred to oxygen. When electrolytes are added, the electrochemical process is flung into fast-forward. The water is also an overseer to the reaction, determining the effects of corrosion.
The following are involved during corrosion: an anode (piece of metal that will give up electrons), an electrolyte (a liquid to help those electrons move, and a cathode (a metal that will accept the electrons).
A bit of water falls onto a strip of iron. A two-step process will initiate. The water mixes with carbon dioxide from the air to make an even more powerful electrolyte. While the iron is slowly dissolving, the water will begin breaking down into hydrogen and oxygen. The freed oxygen and dissolving iron meld to form none other than iron oxide! This is important because, during this process, electrons are set free from the anode portion of iron to the receiving cathode end. Interestingly, the cathode may be a piece located on the iron or on another less reactive metal entirely.
The surface of the iron is actually burnt by oxygen. With time and moisture, the iron is burnt to a red ash. And, since miniscule water droplets are always suspended in the air, the rusting process is certain to happen. Iron, used in often in our daily lives and in household appliances, is sure to fall against the process of rusting. Eventually, through our plant and animal food, we take the iron into our bodies. It’s what supplies the red hue to our blood!