Iron oxide

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Iron oxide pigment
Role of iron oxides

Iron oxides are chemical compounds composed of iron and oxygen. All together, there are sixteen known iron oxides and oxyhydroxides.[1]

Iron oxides and oxide-hydroxides are widespread in nature, play an important role in many geological and biological processes, and are widely utilized by humans, e.g., as iron ores, pigments, catalysts, in thermite (see the diagram), Haemoglobin. Common rust is a form of iron(III) oxide. Iron oxides are widely used as inexpensive, durable pigments in paints, coatings and colored concretes. Colors commonly available are in the "earthy" end of the yellow/orange/red/brown/black range.




  • high-pressure FeOOH
  • schwertmannite (ideally Fe8O8(OH)6(SO)·nH2O or Fe3+16O16(OH,SO4)12-13·10-12H2O)[3]
  • green rust (FeIIIxFeIIy(OH)3x+2y-z(A-)z; where A- is Cl- or 0.5SO42-)

Microbial degradation[edit]

Shewanella oneidensis reduces iron oxide in anaerobic conditions by breathing the oxygen molecules.[4]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Cornell, RM; Schwertmann, U (2003). The iron oxides: structure, properties, reactions, occurrences and uses. Wiley VCH. ISBN 3-527-30274-3. 
  2. ^ "Discovery of the recoverable high-pressure iron oxide Fe4O5". Oct 2011. 
  3. ^ Mindat
  4. ^ "Bacteria reduce iron oxide: Shewanella oneidensis". July 2012. 

External links[edit]