Ferric Chloride is effective primary coagulants based on trivalent iron (Fe3+), excellent for drinking water production, wastewater treatment applications such as phosphorus removal, struvite control and sludge conditioning. The products also control the formation of hydrogen sulfide and prevent the formation of odour and corrosion.
Iron(III) chloride, also called ferric chloride, is an industrial scale commodity chemical compound, with the formula FeCl3and with iron in the +3 oxidation state. The colour of iron(III) chloride crystals depends on the viewing angle: by reflected light, the crystals appear dark green, but by the transmitted light they appear purple-red. Anhydrous iron(III) chloride is deliquescent, forming hydrated hydrogen chloride mists in moist air. It is rarely observed in its natural form, the mineral molysite, known mainly from some fumaroles.
When dissolved in water, iron(III) chloride undergoes hydrolysis and gives off heat in an exothermic reaction. The resulting brown, acidic, and corrosive solution is used as a flocculant in sewage treatment and drinking water production, and as an etchant for copper-based metals in printed circuit boards. Anhydrous iron(III) chloride is a fairly strong Lewis acid, and it is used as a catalyst in organic synthesis.
- taken from Wikipedia – https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Iron(III)_chloride
Why is ferric chloride base?
Why is ferric chloride used in water treatment?
What neutralises ferric chloride?
Are Iron based coagulants hazardous?
What is the use of Ferrous chloride?
Iron(III) chloride is used in sewage treatment and drinking water production. In this application, FeCl3 in slightly basic water reacts with the hydroxide ion to form a floc of iron(III) hydroxide, or more precisely formulated as FeO(OH)−, that can remove suspended materials.
- [Fe(H2O)6]3+ + 4 HO− → [Fe(H2O)2(HO)4]− + 4 H2O → [Fe(H2O)O(HO)2]− + 6 H2O
It is also used as a leaching agent in chloride hydrometallurgy, for example in the production of Si from FeSi (Silgrain process).
Another important application of iron(III) chloride is etching copper in a two-step redox reaction to copper(I) chloride and then to copper(II) chloride in the production of printed circuit boards.
- FeCl3 + Cu → FeCl2 + CuCl
- FeCl3 + CuCl → FeCl2 + CuCl2
Iron(III) chloride is used as a catalyst for the reaction of ethylene with chlorine, forming ethylene dichloride (1,2-dichloroethane), an important commodity chemical, which is mainly used for the industrial production of vinyl chloride, the monomer for making PVC.
- H2C=CH2 + Cl2 → ClCH2CH2Cl
- Used in anhydrous form as a drying reagent in certain reactions.
- Used to detect the presence of phenol compounds in organic synthesis; e.g., examining the purity of synthesised Aspirin.
- Used in water and wastewater treatment to precipitate phosphate as iron(III) phosphate.
- Used by American coin collectors to identify the dates of Buffalo nickels that are so badly worn that the date is no longer visible.
- Used by bladesmiths and artisans in pattern welding to etch the metal, giving it a contrasting effect, to view metal layering or imperfections.
- Used to etch the widmanstatten pattern in iron meteorites.
- Necessary for the etching of photogravure plates for printing photographic and fine art images in intaglio and for etching rotogravure cylinders used in the printing industry.
- Used to make printed circuit boards (PCBs).
- Used in veterinary practice to treat overcropping of an animal’s claws, particularly when the overcropping results in bleeding.
- Reacts with cyclopentadienyl magnesium bromide in one preparation of ferrocene, a metal-sandwich complex.
- Sometimes used in a technique of Raku ware firing, the iron colouring a pottery piece shades of pink, brown, and orange.
- Used to test the pitting and crevice corrosion resistance of stainless steels and other alloys.
- Used in conjunction with NaI in acetonitrile to mildly reduce organic azides to primary amines.
- Used in an animal thrombosis model.
- Used in energy storage systems
- Historically it was used to make direct positive blueprints.
- A component of modified Carnoy’s solution used for surgical treatment of keratocystic odontogenic tumour (KOT)
Is It Corrosive?
Where can I buy Ferric Chloride?
What is the use of flocculant?
Chemical Economics Handbook
In industrialized regions (United States, Western Europe, and Japan), ferric chloride markets are relatively mature. Although it is recognized as a highly effective flocculant and sequestering agent for sludge and odour control, substitution from competing products will lead to relatively flat demand growth.
In Asia and the Middle East, where economic and population expansion has drawn greater demand for water management, ferric chloride continues to experience above-average growth.
For countries in Central and Eastern Europe, which have mostly completed compliance with new regulations, or many countries in Latin America, which are slow to invest in infrastructure or adopt necessary environmental and health legislation, growth is likely to be slower. As a result, global demand is forecast to increase by only about 1% per year through 2021.
Consumption in the United States is forecast to grow at 1.3% annually during 2016-21. Ferric chloride producers tend to have a regional, rather than a national outlook because transportation costs are significant. More than 80% of all ferric chloride is sold in municipal bids, with 53% sold for municipal wastewater applications, and 37% for potable water treatment applications.
Industrial water treatment applications account for 6% of consumption, with the remaining 5% sold in non-waterbased treatment applications, such as electronic and photographic etchants, metal surface treatment, and as a catalyst. Much of the etchant activity has moved to Asia. Electronic applications, especially for PCBs, are small in the United States.
In Western Europe, ferric chloride is used mostly as a coagulant for sewage treatment and potable water production. It is also used as an etchant for copper-based metals in printed circuit boards, a precursor in synthetic iron oxide and speciality pigment production, and in the pharmaceutical industry, where it is used as a precursor for iron-bearing medicine for anaemia treatment.
Growth in Western Europe is stable, with all countries having installations in place to comply with EU legislation for clean water standards in both the municipal and industrial sectors. In the forecast period, consumption is expected to stagnate, with a largely mature water treatment market. No new uses for ferric chloride are on the horizon.
Water treatment will continue to be the largest end use for ferric chloride in China, accounting for about 69% of the total consumption in 2016. Wastewater is treated and recycled extensively for industry use and farm irrigation.
Although industry wastewater discharge has been decreasing in recent years, the discharge of domestic sewage has been growing rapidly. Therefore, as a very economic wastewater treatment agent, ferric chloride in this end use is expected to increase moderately at an average annual rate of 2.9% during 2016-21.
This excerpt is taken from the chemical economics handbook* – https://ihsmarkit.com/products/ferric-chloride-chemical-economics-handbook.html
Iron(III) chloride is harmful, highly corrosive and acidic. The anhydrous material is a powerful dehydrating agent.
Although reports of poisoning in humans are rare, ingestion of ferric chloride can result in serious morbidity and mortality. Inappropriate labelling and storage lead to accidental swallowing or misdiagnosis. Early diagnosis is important, especially in seriously poisoned patients.
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