Potassium ferrate

Potassium Ferrate

Potassium ferrate

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Potassium ferrate is the chemical compound with the formula K<sub>2</sub>FeO<sub>4</sub>. This purple salt is paramagnetic, and is a rare example of an iron(VI) compound. In most of its compounds, iron has the oxidation state +2 or +3 (Fe<sup>2+</sup> or Fe<sup>3+</sup>). Reflecting its high oxidation state, FeO<sub>4</sub><sup>2−</sup> is a powerful oxidizing agent.

K<sub>2</sub>FeO<sub>4</sub> has attracted interest for applications in "green chemistry" because the by-products of its use, iron oxides, are environmentally innocuous. In contrast, some related oxidants such as chromate are considered environmentally hazardous. However, the main difficulty with the use of K<sub>2</sub>FeO<sub>4</sub> is that it is often too reactive, as indicated by the fact that it decomposes in contact with water.

4 K<sub>2</sub>FeO<sub>4</sub> + 4 H<sub>2</sub>O → 3 O<sub>2</sub> + 2 Fe<sub>2</sub>O<sub>3</sub> + 8 KOH

Synthesis and structure

Georg Ernst Stahl (1660 &ndash; 1734) first discovered that the residue formed by igniting a mixture of potassium nitrate (saltpetre) and iron powder dissolved in water to give a purple solution. Edmond......
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