Compared to other metals, the transition metals have these typical properties:
Remember that these are typical properties - some transition metals may not show one or more of them. For example:
Iron (Fe) has the typical properties of transition metals.
The table shows the melting point and density of iron, compared to three non-transition metals. Iron, a transition metal, has a higher melting point and a higher density than the non-transition metals.
|Iron||1538°C||7.87 g/cm3||Transition metals|
|Sodium||98°C||0.97 g/cm3||Group 1|
|Magnesium||650°C||1.74 g/cm3||Group 2|
|Aluminium||660°C||2.70 g/cm3||Group 3|
Metals that are not transition metals usually form white or colourless compounds. Like other transition metals, iron forms coloured compounds. The table shows some examples of these.
|Iron(II) hydroxide, Fe(OH)2||Pale green|
|Iron(III) hydroxide, Fe(OH)3||Orange-brown|
|Iron(III) oxide, Fe2O3||Red-brown|
Catalysts are substances that speed up the rate of reaction without being used up in the reaction. Iron is the catalyst used to make ammonia in the Haber process. Iron(III) oxide is a catalyst used to make hydrogen by reacting carbon monoxide and steam together.