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Green Alternative for Treating Water

Tue, 04/01/2008 - 8:42am
Production of Ferrate Is One Step Closer to Reality
Battelle and Ferratec LLC have announced what could be a historical agreement that may finally result in a commercially viable means to produce potassium ferrate(VI). Under the terms of the agreement, Battelle and Ferratec will conduct a scalability review to determine preliminary output levels for this highly anticipated and powerful oxidant.

For centuries, ferrate has been known as a powerful oxidizing agent, but no one has been able to create a cost-effective and high-yield manufacturing process. Possible applications include water purification and decontamination of chemical agents.

Battelles recent and award-winning Ferrate(VI) Production Process has made this breakthrough possible with the discovery of a new chemical process to produce ferrate. Using inexpensive and readily available raw materials, Battelles process is based on fundamental electrochemical, general chemistry, and engineering economic principles. While current technologies have only been able to produce minimal amounts of ferrate with purity rates reaching only 35 percent, Battelle has made strides in this field by producing ferrate at a purity exceeding 95 percent.

"Its almost hard to imagine that we may finally start seeing ferrate(VI) produced at a rate that will result in commercial use that may truly have an impact on everyday life," said Battelle scientist Bruce Monzyk. "This process is much anticipated by the scientific community due to the fact that it combines over 50 years of collective research."

One of ferrates greatest potential uses lies within water treatment. Unlike traditional chlorine or permanganate reagents, ferrate(VI) is a unique oxidizing agent because it is virtually impossible to administer an overdose when treating water. Additionally, its use produces no harmful by-products making ferrate a "green" alternative for treating water.

"This is just the first step in what we plan to be an exciting journey in making ferrate(VI) an economical and commercial solution," says Andy Wolter of Ferratec LLC. "We are delighted to be working with Battelle to make this extremely valuable substance available on a scale that could one day impact everything from the water we drink to the health of our environment."

Battelle is headquartered in Columbus, OH. Ferratec is headquartered in Saint Louis, MO.

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