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Re: Iron oxidation states
I think you will find that plants can use Fe(III) just fine. The usual
problem is solubility, not oxidation state. Plants convert NO3- to
C-NH2 species, so I don't think a single electron transfer is likely
to be a big deal in the Fe conversion. I seem to remember Dave Huebert
confirming that Fe(III) was no big problem, and I'm pretty sure that
Na Fe(III)EDTA is used as a plant iron source. Also, "pulling off
the chelating agent" is not such a big deal either, because the iron is well
chelated in the plant environment as well.
I would also point out that formal oxidation states are not always well
defined in complexed metal species. Electrons can't always be "placed"
that unequivocally. The models can be too simple at times.
Paul Sears Ottawa, Canada