Rapid removal of acesulfame potassium by acid-activated ferrate(VI) under mild alkaline conditions Academic Article uri icon


  • Acesulfame potassium (ACE) is a widely used artificial sweetener that has consistently been detected in wastewater and surface waters. The high-valent iron-based green oxidant known as ferrate(VI) (potassium ferrate(VI); Fe(VI)) had low reactivity with ACE (i.e. 4 h (or 240 min) contact time removed only ∼ 67% ACE) at a molar ratio of 6.0 ([Fe(VI)]:[ACE]). Comparatively, it took 60 s (or 1 min) to remove ∼94% ACE when HCl (786 μM) was added to a mixture of Fe(VI)-ACE at the same molar ratio of 6.0 (or acid-activated Fe(VI)). Significantly, the final pH (i.e. 7.6-8.1) was similar for Fe(VI) and acid-activated Fe(VI). An empirical model using response surface methodology was developed that could describe reasonably well the removal efficiency of ACE. Inorganic constituents of wastewater (Cl-, Na+, Ca2+, and Mg2+) had no significant effect on the oxidation of ACE by acid-activated Fe(VI). The degradation efficiency of ACE decreased in the presence of 10 mg/L of natural organic matter (NOM) but remained unchanged at 5 mg NOM/L. Sulfamic acid as the oxidized product of ACE was identified by liquid chromatography high resolution mass spectrometry method. Reaction pathways include ring opening of ACE through hydrolytic transformation. Acid-activated Fe(VI) has advantage of rapid removal of ACE under mild alkaline conditions of wastewater treatment plants compared to other oxidation processes such as chlorination, ozonation, and light-based processes.

author list (cited authors)

  • Ghosh, M., Manoli, K., Renaud, J. B., Sabourin, L., Nakhla, G., Sharma, V. K., & Ray, A. K.

citation count

  • 8

publication date

  • May 2019