Scientists Develop Cleaner for Polluted Water Without Toxic By-Products
Polluted water is one commodity that the world does not lack. However, finding the correct cleanser to disinfect and treat this water is an ongoing problem. As is apparent in the BP oil spill crisis, using a toxic chemical dispersant as a cleanser has its own unacceptable environmental cost. Green chemistry is going a long way towards finding the right cleanser for polluted water through research into products that include ferrate.
Ferrate is a form of iron that, when used as a cleanser for polluted water, leaves behind only environmentally safe iron oxide as a by-product. Traditionally, polluted water cleansers have had toxic by-products such as trihalomethanes and bromates, which are carcinogens. Also, conventional cleansers have relied on different substances to oxidize the pollutants in the water, and then coagulate them.
Although the benefits of a ferrate cleanser for polluted water have been known for some time, ferrate products have been too expensive to manufacture on a commercial scale. Virender K. Sharma, a chemistry professor at the Florida Institute of Technology, has developed a liquid ferrate compound that will be far less expensive to manufacture, while being more effective than conventional polluted water treatments. Sharma will partner with Ferratec, LLC to market his liquid ferrate.