MadSci Network: Chemistry

Re: My rust is the wrong color?

Date: Tue Oct 24 23:23:54 2000
Posted By: Charlie Crutchfield, Retired
Area of science: Chemistry
ID: 972271857.Ch

Hello Jake;

        No, your"rust" is not the wrong color.  The problem is,there about 
10 different iron oxides/hydroxides known, all of which are "rust". But we 
[me too] are used to thinking of iron oxide, rust, as being "rust-red" in 
These iron oxides/hydroxides can be various colors, from black, brown, 
grey, red, orange, yellow, and grey.
The color can depend on whether the "rust" is a solid shiny crystal or a 
fine powder. The mineral Hematite [Fe2O3] forms steel-grey cystals, but 
when finely powdered is is cherry red to reddish brown. Look at an old 
rusty nail, the "rust" will usually be several colors.

See if the black material you made is attracted to a magnet. If it is 
attracted, it may be Magnetite [Fe3O4].  A yellow to brown "rust" that 
is attracted to a magnet may be Lepidocrocite  [FeO[OH]], or Maghemite 
which is Fe2O3 like Hematite, but has a different crystal structure.

   For more information, visit a natural history museum in your area and 
look at theminerals. ask one of the museum staff for help. In your library, 
look at a book on mineralogy.  Also, check an encyclopedia.

                           Regards, Charlie Crutchfield

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