Difference Between Red and Black Iron Oxide | Red vs Black Iron Oxide

The key difference between red and black iron oxide is that the red iron oxide occurs as a red-brown solid whereas the black iron oxide occurs as a solid black powder. Furthermore, the red iron oxide is ferromagnetic while the black iron oxide is ferrimagnetic.

Red and black iron oxides are oxides of the chemical element iron having different oxidation numbers in each. In other words, red iron oxide has an iron with the oxidation number +3 and black iron oxide has both +2 and +3 oxidation states. These are naturally occurring minerals and are very important components in the chemical industry.


1. Overview and Key Difference
2. What is Red Iron Oxide
3. What is Black Iron Oxide
4. Side by Side Comparison – Red vs Black Iron Oxide in Tabular Form
5. Summary

What is Red Iron Oxide?

The red iron oxide is ferric oxide that has the chemical formula Fe2O3. Its chemical name is iron(III) oxide. Moreover, it is a major oxide of iron, and in mineralogy, we call this compound “hematite”. It is the main source of iron for the steel industry and is ferromagnetic. The molar mass is 159.69 g/mol while the melting point of this compound is around 1,539–1,565 °C and at higher temperatures it easily decomposes. Therefore, this compound is insoluble in water.