Ferrous in chemistry
Chemistry is the science of matter, especially its chemical reactions, but also its composition, structure and properties. Chemistry is concerned with atoms and their interactions with other atoms, and particularly with the properties of chemical bonds....

, indicates a divalent
In chemistry, a divalent ion or molecule has a valence of two and thus can form two bonds with other ions or molecules. An older term for divalent is bivalent....

Iron is a chemical element with the symbol Fe and atomic number 26. It is a metal in the first transition series. It is the most common element forming the planet Earth as a whole, forming much of Earth's outer and inner core. It is the fourth most common element in the Earth's crust...

 compound (+2 oxidation state
Oxidation state
In chemistry, the oxidation state is an indicator of the degree of oxidation of an atom in a chemical compound. The formal oxidation state is the hypothetical charge that an atom would have if all bonds to atoms of different elements were 100% ionic. Oxidation states are typically represented by...

), as opposed to ferric
Ferric refers to iron-containing materials or compounds. In chemistry the term is reserved for iron with an oxidation number of +3, also denoted iron or Fe3+. On the other hand, ferrous refers to iron with oxidation number of +2, denoted iron or Fe2+...

, which indicates a trivalent iron compound (+3 oxidation state).

Outside of chemistry, ferrous is an adjective used to indicate the presence of iron. The word is derived from the Latin
Latin is an Italic language originally spoken in Latium and Ancient Rome. It, along with most European languages, is a descendant of the ancient Proto-Indo-European language. Although it is considered a dead language, a number of scholars and members of the Christian clergy speak it fluently, and...

 word ferrum ("iron"). Ferrous metals include steel
Steel is an alloy that consists mostly of iron and has a carbon content between 0.2% and 2.1% by weight, depending on the grade. Carbon is the most common alloying material for iron, but various other alloying elements are used, such as manganese, chromium, vanadium, and tungsten...

 and pig iron
Pig iron
Pig iron is the intermediate product of smelting iron ore with a high-carbon fuel such as coke, usually with limestone as a flux. Charcoal and anthracite have also been used as fuel...

 (with a carbon content of a few percent) and alloy
An alloy is a mixture or metallic solid solution composed of two or more elements. Complete solid solution alloys give single solid phase microstructure, while partial solutions give two or more phases that may or may not be homogeneous in distribution, depending on thermal history...

s of iron with other metals (such as stainless steel).

The term non-ferrous is used to indicate metal
A metal , is an element, compound, or alloy that is a good conductor of both electricity and heat. Metals are usually malleable and shiny, that is they reflect most of incident light...

s other than iron and alloys that do not contain an appreciable amount of iron.

See also

  • Ferric
    Ferric refers to iron-containing materials or compounds. In chemistry the term is reserved for iron with an oxidation number of +3, also denoted iron or Fe3+. On the other hand, ferrous refers to iron with oxidation number of +2, denoted iron or Fe2+...

  • Ferromagnetism
    Ferromagnetism is the basic mechanism by which certain materials form permanent magnets, or are attracted to magnets. In physics, several different types of magnetism are distinguished...

  • Steelmaking
    Steelmaking is the second step in producing steel from iron ore. In this stage, impurities such as sulfur, phosphorus, and excess carbon are removed from the raw iron, and alloying elements such as manganese, nickel, chromium and vanadium are added to produce the exact steel required.-Older...

  • Ferrous metal recycling
    Ferrous metal recycling
    Ferrous metals are able to be recycled with steel being one of the most recycled materials in the world,. Ferrous metals contain an appreciable percentage of iron and the addition of carbon and other substances creates steel....

  • Iron(II) oxide
    Iron(II) oxide
    Iron oxide, also known as ferrous oxide, is one of the iron oxides. It is a black-colored powder with the chemical formula . It consists of the chemical element iron in the oxidation state of 2 bonded to oxygen. Its mineral form is known as wüstite. Iron oxide should not be confused with rust,...

     (ferrous oxide)
  • Ferrous chloride (iron(II) chloride
    Iron(II) chloride
    Iron chloride, also known as ferrous chloride, is the chemical compound of formula FeCl2. It is a paramagnetic solid with a high melting point, and is usually obtained as an off-white solid. FeCl2 crystallizes from water as the greenish tetrahydrate, which is the form that is most commonly...

  • Iron(II) bromide
    Iron(II) bromide
    Iron bromide is the chemical compound FeBr2. This brownish-colored solid is a useful synthetic intermediate; for example it is employed to insert Fe into porphyrins.-Structure:...

    (ferrous bromide)
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