Reactive High-Valent Iron Intermediates in Enhancing Treatment of Water by Ferrate. Academic Article uri icon


  • Efforts are being made to tune the reactivity of the tetraoxy anion of iron in the +6 oxidation state (FeVIO42-), commonly called ferrate, to further enhance its applications in various environmental fields. This review critically examines the strategies to generate highly reactive high-valent iron intermediates, FeVO43- (FeV) and FeIVO44- or FeIVO32- (FeIV) species, from FeVIO42-, for the treatment of polluted water with greater efficiency. Approaches to produce FeV and FeIV species from FeVIO42- include additions of acid (e.g., HCl), metal ions (e.g., Fe(III)), and reductants (R). Details on applying various inorganic reductants (R) to generate FeV and FeIV from FeVIO42- via initial single electron-transfer (SET) and oxygen-atom transfer (OAT) to oxidize recalcitrant pollutants are presented. The common constituents of urine (e.g., carbonate, ammonia, and creatinine) and different solids (e.g., silica and hydrochar) were found to accelerate the oxidation of pharmaceuticals by FeVIO42-, with potential mechanisms provided. The challenges of providing direct evidence of the formation of FeV/FeIV species are discussed. Kinetic modeling and density functional theory (DFT) calculations provide opportunities to distinguish between the two intermediates (i.e., FeIV and FeV) in order to enhance oxidation reactions utilizing FeVIO42-. Further mechanistic elucidation of activated ferrate systems is vital to achieve high efficiency in oxidizing emerging pollutants in various aqueous streams.

published proceedings

  • Environ Sci Technol

altmetric score

  • 0.25

author list (cited authors)

  • Sharma, V. K., Feng, M., Dionysiou, D. D., Zhou, H., Jinadatha, C., Manoli, K., ... Huang, C.

citation count

  • 11

complete list of authors

  • Sharma, Virender K||Feng, Mingbao||Dionysiou, Dionysios D||Zhou, Hong-Cai||Jinadatha, Chetan||Manoli, Kyriakos||Smith, Mallory F||Luque, Rafael||Ma, Xingmao||Huang, Ching-Hua

publication date

  • January 2022