Issue Date: March 10, 2008
Rocks Conduct Chemically
To determine the efficiency of treatments that remove iron(III) oxide rust, researchers typically measure the amount of water-soluble iron(II) that the treatments release. That kind of measurement doesn't tell the whole story, say Kevin M. Rosso and Svetlana V. Yanina of Pacific Northwest National Laboratory. They show that hematite, a naturally semiconducting iron(III) oxide, conducts electricity under certain chemical conditions without voltage application, thus enabling some soluble iron(II) to be recycled as iron(III) deposits . . .
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