I have zinc metal and iron oxide in the form of magnetite which I would like to obtain iron metal from. I was wondering if I could use a thermite reaction to create iron and zinc oxide? I would like to know whether such a reaction would occur between these two substances, how violent it is and whether the reaction will sustain itself?

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    $\begingroup$ Not in practice. Zinc metal has relatively low boiling point and would evaporate from reaction mixture before temperatures when reaction would take place. Besides, it really isn't cost effective. Consider aluminium powder instead. $\endgroup$
    – permeakra
    Commented Dec 19, 2016 at 15:33

1 Answer 1


I'd check the Galvanic series.

$\ce{Fe(II)}$ and $\ce{Fe(III)}$ have an higher standard potential than $\ce{Zn}$ and therefore your reaction should take place.

I don't know how reactive it is but I had good experiences with also using $\ce{HCl}$. Use $\ce{Zn + HCl}$ to produce $\ce{H2}$ and heat $\ce{Fe2O3}$ in the presence of $\ce{H2}$ to produce $\ce{Fe}$ and $\ce{H2O}$.


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