Do we lose metal forever when it rusts?

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If a piece of metal rusts before we can protect it or recycle it, do we lose it forever?

Would a piece of metal just rust away to nothing if just left outside?

What is the chemical change from [insert metal] to rust?

In: Chemistry

8 Answers

Anonymous 0 Comments

Most rusting is from the pure metal becoming oxidized, meaning oxygen from the atmosphere attaches to it and changes it’s chemical properties. Rust can be melted back into metal easily enough, though if a piece of metal rusts into a powder, collecting it all back becomes a challenge. When melting it back, you’ll have impurities that got trapped and will need to remove them to get pure iron back.

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