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A laboratory assessment of ferrate (Fe(VI)) for drinking water treatment was conducted, including batch and continuous flow experiments on natural water samples. In batch experiments, ferrate preoxidation enhanced the removal of ultraviolet light-absorbing compounds (UV254; absorbance at 254 nm) by subsequent coagulation in some water samples, while some samples showed no improvement. Ferrate oxidation was not found to have negative impacts on subsequent coagulation. In continuous flow experiments, ferrate preoxidation improved finished water turbidity, UV254 absorbance, and disinfection by-product formation as compared with no preoxidation and to preoxidation with permanganate. However, improvements were similar in magnitude to those achieved by adding the same mass of ferric iron in place of ferrate prior to a formal coagulation step, in one water study. Particulate iron resulting from Fe(VI) reduction was effectively destabilized and removed via coagulation and filtration. Ferrate may be a viable technology for drinking water treatment depending on raw water quality and treatment goals.

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Journal AWWA