Iron sulfate and iron gluconate are important in treating iron-deficiency anemia. Both these are iron-containing salt compounds. Iron sulfate is an ionic compound containing iron cation and sulfate anion. Iron gluconate is an ionic compound containing iron cation and gluconate anion.
What is Iron Sulfate?
Iron sulfate is an ionic compound containing iron cation and sulfate anion. Ferric and ferrous sulphate are sulphates of iron. They are ionic compounds containing cations (iron in different oxidation states) and anions (sulphate anions). The chemical formula of ferric sulphate is Fe2(SO4)3, while the chemical formula of ferrous sulphate is FeSO4.
Ferric sulphate is in the +3 oxidation state. Its chemical name is Iron(III) sulphate. It is water-soluble and usually appears as yellowish-grey colour crystals. It has anhydrous forms as well as some hydrated forms. The molar mass of the anhydrous form is 399.9 g/mol. However, the anhydrous form rarely occurs in nature. The pentahydrate form (having five water molecules associated with one ferric sulphate molecule) is the most common form.
In the production process, this compound is obtained as a solution rather than a solid. The large scale production involves treating sulfuric acid in the presence of ferrous sulphate and an oxidizing agent (such as chlorine, nitric acid, etc.).
Ferrous sulphate is in the +2 oxidation state. The chemical name of ferrous sulphate is Iron(II) sulphate. It has both anhydrous forms and hydrated forms. The most common form is the heptahydrate form. It has seven water molecules associated with a ferrous sulphate molecule. This heptahydrate form occurs as blue-green crystals.
What is Iron Gluconate?
Iron gluconate is an ionic compound containing iron cations and gluconate anions. We can find it in two forms as ferrous and ferric gluconate. Ferrous gluconate is an iron salt of gluconic acid. The carboxylic acid group of the gluconic acid reacts with ferrous to produce this salt. Two gluconate ions interact with the ferrous ion when producing this salt. It has the molecular formula of C12H24FeO14. The molar mass of the compound is 448.15. Ferrous gluconate has the following structure.
This is a solid, which has a light yellow to brown/black appearance and a slight caramel odour. Ferrous gluconate is soluble in water. It is used as an iron supplement to the body. In the market, ferrous gluconate is marketed under brand names like Fergon, Ferralet, and Simron. For diseases like hypochromic anaemia, which is caused due to the lack of iron in the body, ferrous gluconate can be used. Further, ferrous gluconate is used as a food additive.
Ferric gluconate contains iron in a +3 oxidation state combined with gluconate anion. It is a less common form of iron gluconate that is used mainly in the form of sodium ferric gluconate complex to treat iron deficiency anemia.
What is the Difference Between Iron Sulfate and Iron Gluconate?
Iron sulfate is an ionic compound containing iron cation and sulfate anion. Iron gluconate is an ionic compound containing iron cation and gluconate anion. Therefore, the key difference between iron sulfate and iron gluconate is that iron sulfate is the iron salt of sulfuric acid, whereas iron gluconate is the iron salt of gluconic acid.
The below infographic lists the differences between iron sulfate and iron gluconate in tabular form for side by side comparison
Summary – Iron Sulfate vs Iron Gluconate
Both iron sulfate and iron gluconate are salt compounds of iron. The key difference between iron sulfate and iron gluconate is that iron sulfate is the iron salt of sulfuric acid, whereas iron gluconate is the iron salt of gluconic acid. Both these are useful in treating iron-deficiency anemia.
1. “Ferrous Gluconate Uses, Side Effects & Warnings.” Drugs.com.