# Reaction between Iron (III) Oxide and CO?

I'm a science tutor and I came across a stoichiometry problem asking how much Iron is produced in a reaction between $\ce{Fe2O3}$ and $\ce{CO}$:

$$\ce{Fe2O3 + CO -> Fe + ?}$$

I know how to do the stoichiometry part, but I'm stumped about how to figure out the products. My guess is $\ce{Fe}$ and $\ce{CO2}$ since the $\ce{CO}$ would want to change to the more stable $\ce{CO2}$, thus deoxidizing the $\ce{Fe}$? All the student's problems so far have just been between simple ionic salts, and I never remember coming across one like this when I took AP Chen myself in highschool, since $\ce{CO}$ is covalent.

• Your guess is right. Have you ever wondered how steel is produced in the first place? Dec 13, 2016 at 7:39
• en.wikipedia.org/wiki/… Mar 9, 2017 at 13:30

The reaction products depends on stoichiometric ratio of the reactants as well as reaction conditions (i.e temperature, pressure etc.)

1. $$\ce{Fe2O3 + CO ->[500-600 C] 2FeO + CO2}$$

Iron(III) oxide and carbon monoxide to produce iron(II) oxide and carbon dioxide. This reaction takes place at a temperature of 500-600°C. (source)

1. $$\ce{3Fe2O3 + CO ->[400 C] 2Fe3O4 + CO2}$$

Iron(III) oxide react with carbon monoxide to produce iron(II,III) oxide and carbon dioxide. This reaction takes place at a temperature near 400°C. (source)

1. $$\ce{Fe2O3 + 3CO ->[700 C] 2Fe + 3CO2}$$

Iron(III) oxide react with carbon monoxide to produce iron and carbon dioxide. This reaction takes place at a temperature near 700°C. (source)