Elemental iron: Fe

The free metal is obtained in bulk by reduction of the ore by coke. Pure iron is difficult to obtain because other elements are held tenaciously; a pure material may, however, be obtained by reduction of the oxide with hydrogen or by electrolysis. The chemistry of the zero oxidation state is chiefly that of alloys: addition of trace impurities (carbon, phosphorus, silicon, nickel, manganese, chromium, and cobalt) has a marked effect on the properties of the metal.

(from "Iron" in McGraw-Hill Encyclopedia of Science and Technology vol 9 p 445 [1997])