Extraction and uses of metals

The Bast furnace enables us to extract pure iron from iron oxide

​Man's ability to extract pure metal from the ground has underpinned the development of civilsation throughout history .

The Stone age was followed by the Bronze age and then the Iron age as Mankind figured out how pure metals can be extracted from the rocks which contain it.


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See iron being formed in this violent, reduction reaction.

Magnesium ribbon is used as the fuse.

Write an equation for the reaction of magnesium with the oxygen in the air

In the main reaction Iron III oxide and Aluminium react with one another .

Pure iron is produced.

Try to write a word equation for this reaction.

What is reduced in this reaction?

What is oxidised?


​The thermit reaction is used to produce a plug of red hot iron which can be poured directly to join together two sections of rail on a railway track.

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 A slightly less constructive use for the Thermite reaction!

People who play first-person-shooter games know thermite as an explosive that sets off a brilliant white light when used to destroy a piece of equipment that might fall into the enemy's hands. People who will shortly be facing federal indictments know that thermite can totally be cooked on a home stove using rusty nails and aluminum powder.

The resulting mix is officially good for spot welding cracked metal. Unofficially, it will eat straight through the engine block on the Peugeot your ex's new boyfriend drives. Kids, ask your parents.

Homework