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susb030prob7 - While iron is not soluble in aqueous KOH it...

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SUSB-030 – Problem 7 7. (Optional) Aluminum foil includes a small amount of iron. Suppose we choose to dissolve the aluminum in acid instead of base as the first step of the synthesis. Describe the steps of this synthesis. Can you suggest any advantages or disadvantages to this synthetic pathway? It would make sense to use an excess of sulfuric acid to dissolve the aluminum. This solution would now be neutralized with aqueous KOH to produce a solution similar to the one from which we crystallize the alum in the exercise. However, the use of acid for dissolution has another consequence.
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Unformatted text preview: While iron is not soluble in aqueous KOH, it would dissolve in sulfuric acid. Also, sulfuric acid is an oxidizing agent, so it is likely that the iron would be in the 3+ state. Therefore, it would be susceptible to also forming an alum. The consequence could be either a mixed (aluminum/iron) alum or a mixture of aluminum alum and iron alum. We would need to know the solubilities of iron alum and the mixed alum to determine the detailed nature of the product that would crystallize first from the solution....
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