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    • Thread Starter


    I’m currently doing my IB Chemistry EE with the topic of Anaemia I’m investigating the effects of putting iron objects in food while cooking to see if that raises its iron content.

    I got the idea from a project started a couple of years ago to treat anaemia in Cambodia. I’m having trouble with a research question for this, as I don’t quite know what to focus in on. I thought I’d try to replicate the experiment with just a piece of iron; placing iron nails in a pot of water to see if the iron content would go up, and do my EE as an evaluation and comparison of both the Lucky Iron Fish and ordinary pieces of iron.

    But the one dead end I had was that I didn’t have a way to measure the iron concentration of the water. I thought what I would do is pump the water with air to make Ferrous (II) oxide, as Fe II is the best absorbed form of iron.
    Then I would use colorimetry to measure the concentration but I need at least one sample of FeO with a known concentration so that I can perform the calculations. What are your thoughts on this, and are there any other ways to find the concentration of Iron?
    • Community Assistant

    This: may be useful for reference on this topic. It's also a good reference for A-level/IB Chemistry generally anyway.

    For their indicated methods of detecting Iron ions in solution, you would essentially be putting a known volume of iron into the water, then precipitating any ions that have formed in solution from that, and comparing the original mass of iron with the precipitated mass. I suspect surface area considerations will have more of an effect than the exact source of it in this case.

    You could then compare the results using different quantitative techniques (colorimetry, ammonia vs hydroxide reactions), and comment on the differences, if any and their relative accuracy. You could also consider whether these techniques are only detecting Iron(II) or Iron(III) ions, or both. Whether a particular form of the ion is more or less useful in relation to uptake for anemic people, could be part of your "library" research in the introduction/background.
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