Letter | Published:

Effect of magnetic field on reduction of iron oxides: magnetite and wüstite

Naturevolume 266pages612614 (1977) | Download Citation



A STRONG magnetic field (500–1,400 Oe) was reported by Skorski1 to cause an increase in the reduction rate of haematite (Fe2O3) to metallic iron when H2 was used as the reducing agent. This effect was attributed to the magnetic properties of the H2, because neither CH4 nor CO produced a similar increase when under the influence of a strong magnetic field. Although Svare2 disputed this explanation, Peters3 offered an alternative one, based on thermodynamics, which indicated that an increase in reaction rate is expected under the influence of a strong magnetic field when the reactants were relatively non-magnetic and the products were strongly magnetic—as with reduction of haematite to iron. We report here our results of studying magnetite and wüstite reduction to iron, which show an increased reduction rate for magnetite, under the influence of a strong magnetic field, but an inexplicably decreased rate for the wüstite reduction.

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  1. 1

    Skorski, R. Nature phys. Sci. 240, 15 (1972).

  2. 2

    Svare, I. Nature phys. Sci. 244, 78 (1973).

  3. 3

    Peters, C. T. Nature phys. Sci. 244, 79 (1973).

  4. 4

    Rowe, M. W., Fanick, R., Jewett, D. & Rowe, J. D. Nature 263, 756 (1976).

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  1. Department of Chemistry, Texas A & M University, College Station, Texas, 77843

    • M. W. ROWE
    • , S. M. LAKE
    •  & R. FANICK


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