In this Activity, students investigate the process of rusting by studying the oxidation of steel nails in a gel using supermarket chemicals. An indicator makes the presence of Fe3+ produced by the oxidation visible. Factors that accelerate or retard the rate of iron oxidation are studied. This Activity can be used to understand redox chemistry and the relative oxidation potentials of various metals. It illustrates one of the most common reactions of iron and approaches used to retard that reaction.
Stephen W. Wright, J. Chem Educ. 2005, 82, p1648A.