Engineering aspects of ferrate in water and wastewater treatment - a review. Academic Article uri icon


  • There is renewed interest in the tetra-oxy compound of +6 oxidation states of iron, ferrate(VI) (Fe(VI)O4(2-)), commonly called ferrate. Ferrate has the potential in cleaner ("greener") technologies for water treatment and remediation processes, as it produces potentially less toxic byproducts than other treatment chemicals (e.g., chlorine). Ferrate has strong potential to oxidize a number of contaminants, including sulfur- and nitrogen-containing compounds, estrogens, and antibiotics. This oxidation capability of ferrate combines with its efficient disinfection and coagulation properties as a multi-purpose treatment chemical in a single dose. This review focuses on the engineering aspects of ferrate use at the pilot scale to remove contaminants in and enhance physical treatment of water and wastewater. In most of the pilot-scale studies, in-line and on-line electrochemical ferrate syntheses have been applied. In this ferrate synthesis, ferrate was directly prepared in solution from an iron anode, followed by direct addition to the contaminant stream. Some older studies applied ferrate as a solid. This review presents examples of removing a range of contaminants by adding ferrate solution to the stream. Results showed that ferrate alone and in combination with additional coagulants can reduce total suspended solids (TSS), chemical oxygen demand (COD), biological oxygen demand (BOD), and organic matter. Ferrate also oxidizes cyanide, sulfide, arsenic, phenols, anilines, and dyes and disinfects a variety of viruses and bacteria. Limitations and drawbacks of the application of ferrate in treating contaminated water on the pilot scale are also presented.

published proceedings

  • J Environ Sci Health A Tox Hazard Subst Environ Eng

author list (cited authors)

  • Yates, B. J., Zboril, R., & Sharma, V. K.

citation count

  • 60

complete list of authors

  • Yates, Brian J||Zboril, Radek||Sharma, Virender K

publication date

  • December 2014