The performance of free chlorine and chlorine dioxide oxidation and/or alum coagulation for the removal of complexed Fe(II) from drinking water

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Virginia Tech

Past research regarding complexed iron has focused on the resistance to and kinetics of oxidation by O₂(aq) and the extent of stabilization. The 0.45 um filter was typically used to differentiate between dissolved and particulate iron.

This research investigated Fe(II) oxidation by free chlorine and ClO₂ in the presence of DOC by varying the pH, DOC to Fe ratios, DOC sources, oxidant dosages, and contact time. Complexed iron removal by alum coagulation with and without oxidant addition was also examined. Particulate, colloidal, and soluble iron were differentiated by the use of 0.2 um filters and 100K ultrafilters.

Ultrafiltration and oxidation studies revealed that, at the DOC-to-iron ratios used for this research, not all of the Fe(II) in solution was actually complexed. Thus, oxidation studies represented the oxidation of uncomplexed Fe(II) to Fe(III), which was then complexed by the higher molecular weight DOC.

Results indicated that particulate iron formation (as defined as retention by a 0.2 um filter) was a function of the DOC source and oxidant used for testing. The formation of colloidal iron (as defined by retention on 100K ultrafilter) due to oxidation was dependent upon the initial DOC-to-iron ratio and the DOC source. A correlation between DOC adsorption to iron oxide solids and the solution pH, initial DOC-to-iron ratio, and the oxidant used was also evident. Complexed Fe(II) was removed from solution by alum coagulation. Oxidant addition to alum coagulation was necessary to effectively remove uncomplexed Fe(II) (in the presence of DOC) from solution.