# What happens to iron(III) sulfate (ferric sulfate) in aqueous solution?

Iron(II) sulfate (ferrous sulfate) is a salt that, in an aqueous solution, dissolves and yields $\ce{Fe^{2+}(aq)}$ and $\ce{SO4^{2-}(aq)}$. It then decomposes to ferric sulfate shortly thereafter.

But what happens to the iron(III) sulfate (ferric sulfate) in solution? Is the $\ce{Fe_2(SO_4)_3}$ compound preserved?

• Fe2+ is oxidated by oxygen, Fe3+ can't be ox. this way. – Mithoron Aug 8 '15 at 0:49
• Are you asking whether the ferric sulphate dissociates in solution into separate ions? – bon Aug 8 '15 at 17:33
• @bon yes. Or maybe some kind of reaction takes place? – Sparkler Aug 8 '15 at 18:06
• Well hydrolysis may take place – Mithoron Aug 8 '15 at 18:13

In aqueous solution $\ce{Fe2(SO4)3}$ dissociates into $\ce{Fe^{3+} (aq)}$ and $\ce{SO4^{2-} (aq)}$ ions. The sulphate ions will be solvated by hydrogen bonding with the water and the iron ions will form the hexaaquairon(III) complex, $\ce{[Fe(H2O)6]^{3+}}$.
As @Mithoron mentioned, the $\ce{Fe^{3+}}$ ions cannot easily be further oxidised so no additional reaction takes place.