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What effect does salt have on the corrosion of iron?
(A) Absolutely none
(B) Speeds up the reaction
(C) Stops rusts in its track
(D) Gives off a different type of rust

Last updated date: 17th Apr 2024
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MVSAT 2024
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Hint: Corrosion is a natural process that transforms refined metals into more chemically stable forms such oxide, hydroxide, carbonate, or sulphide. It is the degradation of materials over time as a result of chemical and/or electrochemical reactions with their surroundings.

Complete answer:
When a metal object is exposed to the elements and severe weather, it corrodes. We call this transformation rusting if the metal is iron, and the weaker, flaky brown compound that forms is rust. Salt solution works as an electrolyte (a material containing free ions that allows it to conduct electricity), causing iron to lose electrons more quickly and therefore speeding up the rusting process. The process is sped up by adding salt to the water. Because salt is a powerful electrolyte, it contains a large number of dissociated ions, which greatly accelerates corrosion in salt water. Salt, or more particularly, salt solution, can hasten the rusting process by acting as an electrolyte, allowing the metal (iron) to lose electrons more quickly. Rusting is caused by a chemical process called as oxidation, in which metal atoms lose electrons and produce ions. As a result, adding salt or a salt solution (containing ions) speeds up the rusting process by allowing electrons to flow readily from iron to oxygen. The rule here is that the easier electrons move, the faster the rusting process will occur.

In the most common sense, this refers to the electrochemical oxidation of metals in the presence of an oxidant like oxygen or sulphates. The development of iron oxides, which is known as rusting, is an example of electrochemical corrosion. This sort of damage causes the original metal to generate oxides or salts, resulting in an unique orange coloration. Corrosion may occur in materials other than metals, such as ceramics or polymers, however the term "degradation" is more commonly used in this context. Corrosion reduces the usable qualities of materials and buildings, such as strength, appearance, and liquid and gas permeability.
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