October 20, 2009
Ferratec and R&D partner Electrosynthesis have successfully scaled up a ferrate process technology developed by Battelle, which means the powerful chemical oxidizer potassium ferrate that was once nearly impossible to get in large quantities is now available by the kilogram. Battelle had shown the material, valuable to chemists the world over, could be produced in bench-scale quantities with their process. Ferratec licensed the process and now, with partner Electrosynthesis, has successfully completed pilot-scale trials and is ready to move to full-scale production.
Potassium ferrate(VI) (K2FeO4) has many applications, including as a biocide, as a powerful oxidizer in organic synthesis and as a water treatment compound. Until now, potassium ferrate has been much desired but extremely limited because it was impossible to obtain in large, stable quantities at a practical price. Discovered 300 years ago, potassium ferrate has been known as a powerful oxidizing agent but there has not been a cost-effective and high-yield manufacturing process—until now.
Unlike other potassium ferrate sources, typically created in liquid or slurry forms and only in bench scale quantities, Ferratec brand ferrate is 95 percent pure, contains no chlorides or other halogen impurities and is shelf stable. An additional attraction of ferrate is that it is environmentally friendly because its decomposition byproduct is rust. Because ferrate now can be manufactured in kilogram quantities, Ferratec expects to sell the product well below current market pricing.