Nitrogen-containing pollutants have been found in surface waters and industrial wastewaters due to their presence in pesticides, dyes, proteins, and humic substances. Treatment of these compounds by conventional oxidants produces disinfection by-products (DBP). Ferrate(VI) (Fe(VI)O(4)(2-), Fe(VI)) is a strong oxidizing agent and produces a non-toxic by-product Fe(III), which acts as a coagulant. Ferrate(VI) is also an efficient disinfectant and can inactivate chlorine resistant microorganisms. A novel ferrate(VI) technology can thus treat a wide range of pollutants and microorganisms in water and wastewater. The aim of this paper is to review the kinetics and products of the oxidation of nitrogen-containing inorganic (ammonia, hydroxylamine, hydrazine, and azide) and organic (amines, amino acids, anilines, sulfonamides, macrolides, and dyes) compounds by ferrate(VI) in order to demonstrate the feasibility of ferrate(VI) treatment of polluted waters of various origins. Several of the compounds can degraded in seconds to minutes by ferrate(VI) with the formation of non-hazardous products. The mechanism of oxidation involves either one-electron or two-electrons processes to yield oxidation products. Future research directions critical for the implementation of the ferrate(VI)-based technology for wastewater and industrial effluents treatment are recommended.
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