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Iron is a lustrous, ductile, malleable, silver-gray metal (group VIII of the periodic table). It is known to exist in four distinct crystalline forms. Iron rusts in damp air, but not in dry air. It dissolves readily in dilute acids.
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Iron may cause conjunctivitis, choroiditis, and retinitis if it contacts and remains in the tissues. Chronic inhalation of excessive concentrations of iron oxide fumes or dusts may result in development of a benign pneumoconiosis, called siderosis, which is observable as an x-ray change. No physical impairment of lung function has been associated with siderosis. Inhalation of excessive concentrations of iron oxide may enhance the risk of lung cancer development in workers exposed to pulmonary carcinogens. LD50 (oral, rat) =30 gm/kg. (LD50: Lethal dose 50. Single dose of a substance that causes the death of 50% of an animal population from exposure to the substance by any route other than inhalation. Usually expressed as milligrams or grams of material per kilogram of animal weight (mg/kg or g/kg).) A more common problem for humans is iron deficency, which leads to anaemia. A man needs an average daily intake pf 7 mg of iron and a woman 11 mg; a normal diet will generally provided all that is needed. This forms the basic important factor for the study of Iron
Iron is a chemical element with the symbol Fe (from Latin: ferrum) and atomic number 26. It is a metal in the first transition series. It is by mass the most common element on Earth, forming much of Earth's outer and inner core. It is the fourth most common element in the Earth's crust. Its abundance in rocky planets like Earth is due to its abundant production by fusion in high-mass stars, where the production of nickel-56 (which decays to the most common isotope of iron) is the last nuclear fusion reaction that is exothermic. Consequently, radioactive nickel is the last element to be produced before the violent collapse of a supernova scatters precursor radionuclide of iron into space. Like other group 8 elements, iron exists in a wide range of oxidation states, −2 to +6, although +2 and +3 are the most common. Elemental iron occurs in meteoroids and other low oxygen environments, but is reactive to oxygen and water. Fresh iron surfaces appear lustrous silvery-gray, but oxidize in normal air to give hydrated iron oxides, commonly known as rust. Unlike many other metals which form passivating oxide layers, iron oxides occupy more volume than the metal and thus flake off, exposing fresh surfaces for corrosion. Iron metal has been used since ancient times, though copper alloys, which have lower melting temperatures, were used even earlier in human history. Pure iron is soft (softer than aluminium) but is unobtainable by smelting. The material is significantly hardened and strengthened by impurities, in particular carbon, from the smelting process. A certain proportion of carbon (between 0.002% and 2.1%) produces steel, which may be up to 1000 times harder than pure iron. Crude iron metal is produced in blast furnaces, where ore is reduced by coke to pig iron, which has a high carbon content. Further refinement with oxygen reduces the carbon content to the correct proportion to make steel. Steels and low carbon iron alloys along with other metals (alloy steels) are by far the most common metals in industrial use, due to their great range of desirable properties and the abundance of iron. Iron chemical compounds have many uses. Iron oxide mixed with aluminium powder can be ignited to create a thermite reaction, used in welding and purifying ores. Iron forms binary compounds with the halogens and the chalcogens. Among its organometallic compounds is ferrocene, the first sandwich compound discovered.
As the key ingredient for steelmaking, iron ore is integral to the global economy and represents the world's second-largest natural resource market by value. The overall structure and dynamics of the iron ore market have recently undergone various radical changes. The global demand shock caused by the rapid industrialization of China has sent market prices skywards and triggered a collapse of the 40-year-old benchmark pricing system. The newly adopted quarterly index-based pricing mechanism has brought an abrupt end to the traditional stability of the iron ore market, with price dynamics now experiencing greater volatility. Against the backdrop of these disruptive changes, this dissertation proposes a deterministic nine-region spatial equilibrium model of the 2020 iron ore market based on the fundamental characteristics and mechanics of the market. Key features of the model are its bottom-up structure, modeling supply volumes and costs on an individual mine level as well as the simulation of interregional trade flows using a linear optimization approach. In analyzing a number of relevant scenarios, this dissertation projects the key characteristics of the 2020 global iron ore market in terms of regional production volumes, demand, iron ore trade flows and market prices. It quantifies market dynamics based on changes in available production capacity, demand and freight rates. From a demand perspective, the dissertation proposes several strategies to mitigate the risk arising from higher and more volatile iron ore prices. Of these strategies, the captivity of mines and the introduction of iron ore export taxes are analyzed in greater detail with respect to their effectiveness and influence on the iron ore market.
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This page was last updated on 15th Sep, 2015
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