why does iron from a blast furnace have few uses

Pure iron is soft and easily shaped because its atoms are arranged in a regular way that lets layers of atoms slide over each other. Pure iron is too soft for many uses. Iron from the blast furnace is an alloy of about 96 percent iron, with carbon and some other impurities. It is hard, but too brittle for most uses, so most iron from the blast furnace is converted into steel by removing some of the carbon.


Carbon is removed from molten iron by blowing oxygen into it. The oxygen reacts with the carbon, producing carbon monoxide and carbon dioxide, which escape from the molten metal. Enough oxygen is used to achieve steel with the desired carbon content.


Other metals are often added, such as vanadium and chromium, to produce
alloy An alloy is a compound of two or more elements, at least one of which is a metal. with properties suited to specific uses. There are many different types of steel, depending on the other elements mixed with the iron.


Now try a. Iron is extracted from iron ore in a huge container called a blast furnace. Iron ores such as haematite contain iron oxide. The oxygen must be removed from the iron oxide to leave the iron behind. Reactions in which oxygen is removed are called reduction reactions. Carbon is more reactive than iron, so it can push out or displace the iron from iron oxide.


Here are the equations for the reaction: In this reaction, the iron oxide is reduced to iron, and the carbon is oxidised to carbon dioxide. In the blast furnace, it is so hot that carbon monoxide can be used to reduce the iron oxide in place of carbon:

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