# How to dissolve iron powder?

I know iron can react with many solutions, but when I tried to mix iron powder together with permanganate or dilute sulphuric acid, the iron powder would not react and instead, it just float on the surface of the solution. I tried to stir it for several minutes but it seems doesn't work.

It is pure iron powder, can be attracted by magnet

How can I dissolve iron powder and let it become $\ce{Fe^2+}$ or $\ce{Fe^3+}$ ? (Just dissolve it is ok)

• To float on the surface of a water solution (density slightly above 1) is quite a peculiar thing to do for iron (density 7.8). Isn't the powder stained with some kind of oil, by any chance? – Ivan Neretin Apr 27 '16 at 17:44
• @IvanNeretin I've seen iron filings do this, and stirring (with a magnetic stir bar, at least) isn't exactly the best way to break surface tension at the top of water. – SendersReagent Apr 27 '16 at 19:28
• Then we have to lower the surface tension. I think a little drop of acetone might help. – Ivan Neretin Apr 27 '16 at 19:33
• As far as the question goes, I don't think you're going to get it to dissolve without making $\ce{Fe^{2+}}$ or $\ce{Fe^{3+}}$. There may be some wierdo $\ce{Fe^0}$ complexes that would do it, but those would be the exception. I'm not even sure it would work at all. – SendersReagent Apr 27 '16 at 19:44
• what is the iron powder made of? just pure elemental iron in its various oxidation states? I don't know how iron bonds so I'm not sure if it exists elemental or not :/, but if I can get a little bit of information about this I think I can help with the dissolving problem – Ryan Apr 27 '16 at 20:19

Fe(s) + H$_2$SO$_4$(aq) → Fe$^{2+}$(aq) + SO$_4$$^{2-}$(aq) + H$_2$(g)