For about a week now I've been randomly experimenting and trying to find the fastest way to make Fe2O3 (rust) for thermite. So far the fastest way is to pour some vinegar on iron wool and let it sit for a bit then put it in a container and fill the container with 3% H2O2 from the supermarket. After I add the H2O2, the temperature skyrockets and the container becomes hot to the touch, especially after shaking it. Could someone please explain this whole reaction? So far I've guessed that the vinegar etches away a layer of FeO from the wool, and the H2O2 uses the iron as a catalyst to decompose and at the same time it oxidizes it. But where does the heat come in? Also, not pouring vinegar on the wool first does not work at all although through experimentation I've figured that H2O2 on its own can convert an aqueous solution of FeO into Fe2O3. Does this mean that all I really need is water to get the reaction going? Probably not since 3% h202 is 97% water.
If you could help me out that would be wonderful.
Thanks in advance
Isn't this a kinda a redox reaction? you reduce the H2O2 and you oxidize the iron. Pretty much all redox reactions as I know them generate heat.