ferrous sulfate or iron (II) sulfate, chemical compound, FeSO4. It is known as the monohydrate, FeSO4·H2O; the tetrahydrate, FeSO4·4H2O; the pentahydrate, FeSO4·5H2O; and the heptahydrate, FeSO4·7H2O. The heptahydrate is also called green vitriol, copperas, or melanterite (a mineral that commonly occurs with pyrite). It is a blue-green monoclinic crystalline water-soluble salt. It is prepared commercially by oxidation of pyrite (iron sulfide) or by treating iron with sulfuric acid. It is used in the manufacture of inks, in wool dyeing as a mordant, and in water purification as a substitute for aluminum sulfate. It melts at 64°C, and at 90°C it loses water of hydration to form the monohydrate, a white, monoclinic, crystalline powder that occurs naturally as the mineral szomolnokite. The mineral siderotil is iron sulfate pentahydrate.
The Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia, 6th ed. Copyright © 2012, Columbia University Press. All rights reserved.
See more Encyclopedia articles on: Compounds and Elements