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One way to keep iron from corroding is to keep it painted. The layer of paint prevents the water and oxygen necessary for rust formation from coming into contact with the iron. As long as the paint remains intact, the iron is protected from corrosion.

Other strategies include alloying the iron with other metals. For example, stainless steel is mostly iron with a bit of chromium. The chromium tends to collect near the surface, where it forms an oxide layer that protects the iron.

Zinc-plated or galvanized iron    uses a different strategy. Zinc is more easily oxidized than iron because zinc has a lower reduction potential. Since zinc has a lower reduction potential, it is a more active metal. Thus, even if the zinc coating is scratched, the zinc will still oxidize before the iron. This suggests that this approach should work with other active metals.

Another important way to protect metal is to make it the cathode in a galvanic cell. This is cathodic protection    and can be used for metals other than just iron. For example, the rusting of underground iron storage tanks and pipes can be prevented or greatly reduced by connecting them to a more active metal such as zinc or magnesium ( [link] ). This is also used to protect the metal parts in water heaters. The more active metals (lower reduction potential) are called sacrificial anodes because as they get used up as they corrode (oxidize) at the anode. The metal being protected serves as the cathode, and so does not oxidize (corrode). When the anodes are properly monitored and periodically replaced, the useful lifetime of the iron storage tank can be greatly extended.

A diagram is shown of an underground storage tank system. Underground, to the left end of the diagram is a horizontal grey tank which is labeled “Object to be protected.” A black line extends upward from the center of the tank above ground. An arrow points upward at the left side of the line segment. A horizontal black line segment continues right above ground, which is labeled “No power source is needed.” A line segment extends up and to the right, which is labeled “ Lead wire.” A line segment with a downward pointing arrow to its right extends downward below the ground to a second metal tank-like structure, labeled “Sacrificial anode” which is vertically oriented. Five black arrows point left underground toward the first tank. These arrows are collectively labeled “Protective current.”
One way to protect an underground iron storage tank is through cathodic protection. Using an active metal like zinc or magnesium for the anode effectively makes the storage tank the cathode, preventing it from corroding (oxidizing).

Key concepts and summary

Corrosion is the degradation of a metal caused by an electrochemical process. Large sums of money are spent each year repairing the effects of, or preventing, corrosion. Some metals, such as aluminum and copper, produce a protective layer when they corrode in air. The thin layer that forms on the surface of the metal prevents oxygen from coming into contact with more of the metal atoms and thus “protects” the remaining metal from further corrosion. Iron corrodes (forms rust) when exposed to water and oxygen. The rust that forms on iron metal flakes off, exposing fresh metal, which also corrodes. One way to prevent, or slow, corrosion is by coating the metal. Coating prevents water and oxygen from contacting the metal. Paint or other coatings will slow corrosion, but they are not effective once scratched. Zinc-plated or galvanized iron exploits the fact that zinc is more likely to oxidize than iron. As long as the coating remains, even if scratched, the zinc will oxidize before the iron. Another method for protecting metals is cathodic protection. In this method, an easily oxidized and inexpensive metal, often zinc or magnesium (the sacrificial anode), is electrically connected to the metal that must be protected. The more active metal is the sacrificial anode, and is the anode in a galvanic cell. The “protected” metal is the cathode, and remains unoxidized. One advantage of cathodic protection is that the sacrificial anode can be monitored and replaced if needed.

Chemistry end of chapter exercises

Which member of each pair of metals is more likely to corrode (oxidize)?

(a) Mg or Ca

(b) Au or Hg

(c) Fe or Zn

(d) Ag or Pt

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Consider the following metals: Ag, Au, Mg, Ni, and Zn. Which of these metals could be used as a sacrificial anode in the cathodic protection of an underground steel storage tank? Steel is mostly iron, so use −0.447 V as the standard reduction potential for steel.

Mg and Zn

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Aluminum ( E Al 3+ /Al ° = −2.07 V ) is more easily oxidized than iron ( E Fe 3+ /Fe ° = −0.477 V ), and yet when both are exposed to the environment, untreated aluminum has very good corrosion resistance while the corrosion resistance of untreated iron is poor. Explain this observation.

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If a sample of iron and a sample of zinc come into contact, the zinc corrodes but the iron does not. If a sample of iron comes into contact with a sample of copper, the iron corrodes but the copper does not. Explain this phenomenon.

Both examples involve cathodic protection. The (sacrificial) anode is the metal that corrodes (oxidizes or reacts). In the case of iron (−0.447 V) and zinc (−0.7618 V), zinc has a more negative standard reduction potential and so serves as the anode. In the case of iron and copper (0.34 V), iron has the smaller standard reduction potential and so corrodes (serves as the anode).

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Suppose you have three different metals, A, B, and C. When metals A and B come into contact, B corrodes and A does not corrode. When metals A and C come into contact, A corrodes and C does not corrode. Based on this information, which metal corrodes and which metal does not corrode when B and C come into contact?

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Why would a sacrificial anode made of lithium metal be a bad choice despite its E Li + /Li ° = −3.04 V , which appears to be able to protect all the other metals listed in the standard reduction potential table?

While the reduction potential of lithium would make it capable of protecting the other metals, this high potential is also indicative of how reactive lithium is; it would have a spontaneous reaction with most substances. This means that the lithium would react quickly with other substances, even those that would not oxidize the metal it is attempting to protect. Reactivity like this means the sacrificial anode would be depleted rapidly and need to be replaced frequently. (Optional additional reason: fire hazard in the presence of water.)

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Questions & Answers

Define chemical formula
Kevin Reply
they are the mathematical representation of chemicals I guess
Uche
Bohr model of hydrogen atom
Muhammad Reply
what is important of this model
nagesh
what is the main reaction between sodium and chlorine
Akeem Reply
when a sodium atom is transferred an electron to a chloride atom forming a sodium cation and a chlorde anoin both ions are compltely valence shells and a energetically more stable this reaction is extremely more exothermic producing a bright yellow light abd a great deal of heat energy
sani
well what kind of sodium
coland
sodium chloride
coland
Tyropanoic acid and its salt sodium tyropanoate are radiocontrast agents used in cholecystography (X-ray diagnosis of gallstones). Trade names include Bilopaque, Lumopaque, Tyropaque, and Bilopac. The molecule contains three heavy iodine atoms which obstruct X-rays in the same way as the calcium in
coland
Sodium tetradecyl sulfate (STS) is a commonly used synonym for 7-ethyl-2-methyl-4-undecanyl sulfate sodium salt which is anionic surfactant that is the active component of the sclerosant drug Sotradecol. It is commonly used in the treatment of varicose and spider veins of the leg, during the procedu
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Sodium stibogluconate, sold under the brand name Pentostam among others, is a medication used to treat leishmaniasis. This includes leishmaniasis of the cutaneous, visceral, and mucosal types. Some combination of miltefosine, paramycin and liposomal amphotericin B; however, may be recommended due to
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Sodium picosulfate (INN, also known as sodium picosulphate) is a Contact stimulant laxative used as a treatment for constipation or to prepare the large bowel before colonoscopy or surgery. It is sold under the trade names Sodipic Picofast, Laxoberal, Laxoberon, Purg-Odan, Picolax, Guttalax, Namilax
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Ipodate sodium (sodium iopodate) is an iodine-containing radiopaque contrast media used for X-rays. The drug is given orally and the resulting contrast allows for easy resolution of the bile duct and gall bladder. Other uses Although not FDA approved, ipodate sodium has been used to treat Graves'
coland
Sodium ferric gluconate complex (brand name ferrlecit by Sanofi), is an intravenously administered iron product indicated in the treatment of iron deficiency anemia. It is frequently used in patients undergoing hemodialysis, those undergoing erythropoietin therapy, and/or patients who have chronic k
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Dehydrocholic acid is a synthetic bile acid, manufactured by the oxidation of cholic acid. It acts as a hydrocholeretic, increasing bile output to clear increased bile acid load.
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Ethylenediaminetetraacetic acid (EDTA), also known by several other names, is an aminopolycarboxylic acid and a colourless, water-soluble solid. Its conjugate base is ethylenediaminetetraacetate. It is widely used to dissolve limescale. Its usefulness arises because of its role as a hexadentate ("s
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Sodium aurothiomalate (INN, known in the United States as gold sodium thiomalate) is a gold compound that is used for its immunosuppressive anti-rheumatic effects. Along with an orally-administered gold salt, auranofin, it is one of only two gold compounds currently employed in modern medicine. Med
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Sodium ascorbate is one of a number of mineral salts of ascorbic acid (vitamin C). The molecular formula of this chemical compound is C6H7NaO6. As the sodium salt of ascorbic acid, it is known as a mineral ascorbate. It has not been demonstrated to be more bioavailable than any other form of vitamin
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Diatrizoic acid (or its anionic form, diatrizoate), also known as amidotrizoic acid, or 3,5-diacetamido-2,4,6-triiodobenzoic acid, is a radiocontrast agent containing iodine. Trade names include Hypaque, Gastrografin, Iothalmate and Urografin, the latter being a combination of the sodium and meglum
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Sodium acetrizoate (rINN, trade names Urokon, Triurol and Salpix), the sodium salt of acetrizoic acid, is a high-osmolality, water-soluble, iodine-based radiographic contrast medium no longer in clinical use. Acetrizoate was developed by V.H. Wallingford of Mallinckrodt, and introduced in 1950; it
coland
i think some was missed
coland
what chlorine L-Alpha glycerylphosphorylcholine (alpha-GPC, choline alfoscerate) is a natural choline compound found in the brain. It is also a parasympathomimetic acetylcholine precursor which may have potential for the treatment of Alzheimer's disease and other dementias. Alpha-GPC rapidly delive
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Choline Theophyllinate , also known as oxtriphylline, is a cough medicine derived from xanthine that acts as a bronchodilator to open up airways in the lung. Chemically, it is a salt of choline and Theophylline. It classifies as an expectorant. The drug is available under the brand names Choledyl an
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Choline (/ˈkoʊlin/) is a water-soluble vitamin. It is usually grouped within the B-complex vitamins. The term cholines refers to the class of quaternary ammonium salts containing the N,N,N-trimethylethanolammonium cation (X− on the right denotes an undefined counteranion). The cation appears in the
coland
thanks
sani
please what is redox reaction
BABARINDE
hydrogen reacting with water
Iyenge Reply
what is matter
Godgift Reply
apart from those device there is there any device
Eke Reply
how many elements do we have
ARUOTURE Reply
Modern Electronic Theory
Levi Reply
a new way or an improvement in modern electrical products.
Andrew
find the volume of oxygen produced from the electrolysis of acidified water of a current of a 2A was passed through the electrolysis of acidified water for 2 hours
Ngwu Reply
14400J
Ese
wrong question, go through it. oxygen cannot be produced.
Andrew
A group of atoms that are connected by chemical bounds
Valerie Reply
molecule
NARCOS_
the atoms are found in the shell, it is called atomic bond.
Andrew
what is molecules
Kelly Reply
what atoms
Simon
Moecules are groups of atoms
Adewole
atom is the smallest part of an element or matter that indivisible
Ese
What is collision theory
Isah Reply
hello guys am new here
Andrew Reply
what is the si unit for energy
enow Reply
joules
udoh
what is Charles law
Ogbu
how do mass of solvent be gram or kilogram ?
Yussuf Reply
by converting
Andrew
Practice Key Terms 4

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Source:  OpenStax, Chemistry. OpenStax CNX. May 20, 2015 Download for free at http://legacy.cnx.org/content/col11760/1.9
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