Related topics: carbon dioxide

Iron-based solar cells on track to becoming more efficient

An international study led from Lund University in Sweden shows that 30 percent of the energy in a certain type of light-absorbing iron molecule disappears in a previously unknown manner. By closing this loophole, the researchers ...

Microrobots clean up radioactive waste

According to some experts, nuclear power holds great promise for meeting the world's growing energy demands without generating greenhouse gases. But scientists need to find a way to remove radioactive isotopes, both from ...

Insulating antiferromagnetic materials for future computers

Future computer technology based on insulating antiferromagnets is progressing. Electrically insulating antiferromagnets such as iron oxide and nickel oxide consist of microscopic magnets with opposite orientations. Researchers ...

New catalyst helps turn carbon dioxide into fuel

Imagine grabbing carbon dioxide from car exhaust pipes and other sources and turning this main greenhouse gas into fuels like natural gas or propane: a sustainability dream come true.

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Iron (pronounced /ˈаɪ.ərn/) is a chemical element with the symbol Fe (Latin: ferrum) and atomic number 26. Iron is a group 8 and period 4 element. Iron and iron alloys (steels) are by far the most common metals and the most common ferromagnetic materials in everyday use. Fresh iron surfaces are lustrous and silvery-grey in colour, but oxidise in air to form a red or brown coating of ferrous oxide or rust. Pure single crystals of iron are soft (softer than aluminium), and the addition of minute amounts of impurities, such as carbon, significantly strengthens them. Alloying iron with appropriate small amounts (up to a few per cent) of other metals and carbon produces steel, which can be 1,000 times harder than pure iron.

Iron-56 is the heaviest stable isotope produced by the alpha process in stellar nucleosynthesis; heavier elements than iron and nickel require a supernova for their formation. Iron is the most abundant element in the core of red giants, and is the most abundant metal in iron meteorites and in the dense metal cores of planets such as Earth.

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