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With the Colorful Iron Complexes Chemical Demonstration Kit, distinguish solutions of iron(II) from iron(III) ions by performing redox reactions between iron’s oxidation states. Students discover oxidation numbers and write redox reactions.

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Easily distinguish solutions of iron(II) and iron(III) ions by performing redox reactions between iron’s two oxidation states. Answer the question of why iron(III) is the more stable of the two states. Simply add various complex ions to solutions of iron(II) or iron(III) and observe formation of the beautifully colored Prussian blue precipitate or of the deep blood-red complex, the confirming test for iron(III)! Students will gain practice in determining oxidation numbers, writing redox reactions and analyzing electron configurations. Teacher Demonstration Notes included.  

Concepts: Oxidation–reduction, oxidation numbers, complex ions, electron configuration, transition metals.
Time Required: 10 minutes
Chemicals Provided: Solutions of iron(III) chloride, iron(II) sulfate, potassium ferricyanide, potassium ferrocyanide, potassium thiocyanate, test tubes, stoppers.

Correlation to Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS)

Science & Engineering Practices

Analyzing and interpreting data
Developing and using models

Disciplinary Core Ideas

MS-PS1.A: Structure and Properties of Matter
MS-PS1.B: Chemical Reactions
HS-PS1.A: Structure and Properties of Matter
HS-PS1.B: Chemical Reactions

Crosscutting Concepts

Patterns
Systems and system models
Stability and change