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Iron sulfate

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Other names

  • Iron sulfate
  • Ferrous sulfate
  • Green vitriol
  • Iron vitriol
  • Copperas
  • Melanterite
  • Szomolnokite

Product description

Fe is the forming element of many enzymes and hormone, and participates in metabolism of protein, carbohydrate as well as lipid. When lack of Fe, animals exhibit inappetence, slow growth, thick and disorderly clothing hair, depiation, dry and chappy skin and unease-cure wound. Adding high dosage Fe in initial feed for sucking can reduce diarrhea and increase weight.
Description: It is mainly used as nutritional additives in animal feed and fertilizer in agriculture. It is also used in synthetic fiber industry, preservative, material of printing and dyeing and be used in medical for fungicide and emetic, and in electroplate, water purifiction etc.



Together with other iron compounds, ferrous sulfate is used to fortify foods and to treat and prevent iron deficiency anemia. Constipation is a frequent and uncomfortable side effect associated with the administration of oral iron supplements. Stool softeners often are prescribed to prevent constipation.


Ferrous sulfate was used in the manufacture of inks, most notably iron gall ink.

Sometimes, it is included in canned black olives as an artificial colorant.

Ferrous sulfate can also be used to stain concrete and some limestones and sandstones a yellowish rust color.

Woodworkers use ferrous sulfate solutions to color maple wood a silvery hue.

Plant growth

Iron (II) sulfate is sold as ferrous sulfate, a soil amendment for lowering the pH of a high alkaline soil so that plants can access the soil's nutrients.

In horticulture it is used for treating iron chlorosis. Although not as rapid-acting as ferric edta, its effects are longer-lasting. It can be mixed with compost and dug into the soil to create a store which can last for years. It is also used as a lawn conditioner, and moss killer.

Other uses

In the second half of the 1850s ferrous sulfate was used as a photographic developer for collodion process images.

Ferrous sulfate is sometimes added to the cooling water flowing through the brass tubes of turbine condensers to form a corrosion-resistant protective coating.

It is used in gold refining to precipitate metallic gold from auric chloride solutions (gold dissolved in solution with aqua regia).

It has been used in the purification of water by flocculation and for phosphate removal in municipal and industrial sewage treatment plants to prevent eutrophication of surface water bodies.

It is used as a traditional method of treating wood panelling on houses, either alone, dissolved in water, or as a component of water-based paint.

Green vitriol is also a useful reagent in the identification of mushrooms.

Chemical formula FeSO4
Molar mass 151.91 g/mol (anhydrous)
169.93 g/mol (monohydrate)
241.99 g/mol (pentahydrate)
260.00 g/mol (hexahydrate)
278.02 g/mol (heptahydrate)
Appearance White crystals (anhydrous)

White-yellow crystals (monohydrate)

Blue-green crystals (heptahydrate)

Odor Odorless
Density 3.65 g/cm3 (anhydrous)

3 g/cm3 (monohydrate)

2.15 g/cm3 (pentahydrate)

1.934 g/cm3 (hexahydrate)

1.895 g/cm3 (heptahydrate)

Melting point 680 °C (1,256 °F; 953 K)

(anhydrous) decomposes

300 °C (572 °F; 573 K)

(monohydrate) decomposes

60–64 °C (140–147 °F; 333–337 K)

(heptahydrate) decomposes

Solubility in water Monohydrate:

44.69 g/100 mL (77 °C)

35.97 g/100 mL (90.1 °C)


15.65 g/100 mL (0 °C)

20.5 g/100 mL (10 °C)

29.51 g/100 mL (25 °C)

39.89 g/100 mL (40.1 °C)

51.35 g/100 mL (54 °C)

Solubility Negligible in alcohol
Industry sectors