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Lodestone

Lodestone is a special version of magnetite that exhibits natural ferromagnetic properties.

Properties

Physical Characteristics

Black or brownish-black with a metallic luster

Properties

Permanently magnetic with definite north and south poles

Compounds

3 Iron 4 Oxygen

Geology & Geography

Magnetite is sometimes found in large quantities in beach sand. Most often in black sands which have high iron content. Lodestone in particular is found in black sands that are often struck by lightning.

Origin & Source

Lodestone is often found in iron ore. The leading theory is that lodestones are magnetized by the strong magnetic fields surrounding lightning bolts since they are mostly found near the surface of the Kaf, rather than buried at great depth.

History & Usage

History

Lodestone, will attract small pieces of iron, which is how ancient peoples first discovered the property of magnetism.

Everyday use

Lodestone is used to make compasses since ancient times, as well as small magnets.

Industrial Use

Due to its high iron content, magnetite has long been a major iron ore. It is reduced in blast furnaces to pig iron or sponge iron for conversion to steel.   Catalysis   Magnetite is the catalyst for the industrial synthesis of ammonia. It is also used to catalyze the breakdown of hydrogen peroxide and to decompose organic contaminants such as p-nitrophenol, which results from chemical processes such as oil refining, petrochemical manufacturing, pulp and paper mills, and the production of many paints, plastics, and pesticides. The removal of such contaminants is an important environmental application.   The most recent application of Lodestone is in the form of magnetic nanoparticles for a wide variety. They can bind to pollutants in contaminated water, especially heavy metal.   Microparticles of Lodestone can also be made into ferrofluids with a lot of applications including play.

Refinement

Most Lodestone is smelted from iron ore as magnetite. Then magnetite has to be magnetized, usually with electric current.

Manufacturing & Products

Magnetic nanoparticles are used in the creation of ferrofluids. These are used in several ways, in addition to being fun to play with. Ferrofluids can be used for targeted drug delivery in the human body. They are also important for magnetic resonance imaging machines.

Fe3O4

Type
Ore/Mineral
Color
Black, gray with brownish tint in reflected sun
Common State
Solid Mineral

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