Reduction of nitrate, bromate, and chlorate by zero valent iron (Fe0)

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133 Scopus citations


Oxo-anions occur in drinking waters, pose potential health risks, and should be controlled. It may be possible to incorporate zero-valent iron (Fe0) into water treatment processes to remove oxo-anions. Under near neutral pH (∼7) and aerobic conditions, the three oxo-anions studied (NO3-, BrO3-, ClO3) were electrochemically reduced by Fe0 in batch and continuous-flow packed column experiments. Mass balances provided strong evidence that ammonia is the primary reduction by-product from nitrate, chloride from chlorate, and bromide from bromate. Protons were consumed during the reaction, resulting in an increase in pH (i.e., production of hydroxide). Oxo-anion removal rates decreased as follows: scaling up of batch kinetic data to larger scale must consider the solid-liquid ratios. The atomic structure (atomic radii, electron orbital configuration, electron affinity) of nitrogen, chlorine, and bromine elements of the oxo-anions, and the bond dissociation energy between these elements and oxygen, were good indicators for the relative rates of reduction by Fe0.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)10-16
Number of pages7
JournalJournal of Environmental Engineering
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 1 2003
Externally publishedYes


  • Nitrates
  • Potable water
  • Water treatment

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Environmental Engineering
  • Civil and Structural Engineering
  • Environmental Chemistry
  • Environmental Science(all)


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