Sustainable Industrial Wastewater Treatment | CHEManager

Sustainable Industrial Wastewater Treatment | CHEManager

Ferrate(VI) Makes Water Treatment Green, Efficient and Circular

17.10.2022 - For decades, Ferrate(VI) has been known as the strongest oxidant in the world for the treatment of (industrial) wastewater.

    Unlike frequently used chemicals for water treatment, Ferrate(VI) is environmentally friendly. Producing Ferrate(VI) in a stable and preservable form has been impossible until now. Thanks to ground-breaking research, however, the founders of Dutch start-up Ferr-Tech have developed a patented method to do so successfully. The company is the first to provide Ferrate(VI) for industrial application. By purifying wastewater with Ferrate(VI), water treatment becomes more sustainable and energy efficient, while enabling reuse of the water in the industrial process. Judith le Fèvre, co-owner of Ferr-Tech and Director Marketing & Public Affairs, provides insight into the company’s goals.

    CHEManager: Mrs. le Févre, what motivated you to found Ferr-Tech?

    Judith le Fèvre : Ferr-Tech was formed after co-founder Sina Samimi wrote his master’s thesis on the tenability and stability of producing Ferrate(VI). “The problem with Ferrate(VI) in the past was that it had a shelf life of only a few seconds, making it unsuitable for industrial use”, Judith explains. “Sina has developed a production process to make Ferrate(VI) tenable for two months. Now, as a Dutch start-up, we are the first in the world that can offer FerSol, Ferrate(VI) in solution for industrial use to the market.”

    What challenges did you face so far?

    J. le Fèvre : One of the biggest challenges in circular business is that to be truly circular, you have to address the entire chain. Ferr-Tech is also working on this. “We separate clean water from sludge, the waste, but it would be ideal if the sludge could also be reused, for example as a raw material for fertilizer. This is not our core business, but it would be, of course, good to close the entire chain. That is why we are participating in a European project at a dairy giant, in which it is investigated, among other things, what the possibilities are with sludge.”

    In addition, Ferr-Tech is committed to further improving its own products. “We produce Ferrate(VI) in solution under the name FerSol. This product has a shelf life of two months and must be stored below 10 degrees. However, we are also developing Ferrate(VI) in cake and powder form. These products have an even longer shelf life, are even more powerful and require an even lower dosage than FerSol.”

     

      What were the most exciting experiences in Ferr-Tech’s journey?

      J. le Fèvre : For existing only two years, I think we got to experience a lot of exciting things already. However, in my opinion, winning the CES Innovation Award, is definitely on top of the list. The CES is the world’s ­largest technology exhibit, located in Las Vegas. The CES Innovation Award, is one of the most prestigious awards a company in the field of technology can receive and for us, it also marks the start of conquering the US.

      What are your plans for the future?

      J. le Fèvre : Our goal is: clean and sufficient water for everyone. We’re already doing projects in Spain, France, Norway, Germany, USA and of course our home country: The Netherlands. To reach the goal, we want to get to the entire world. Next on the agenda is the middle east. Over there, you have large desalination plants where fresh water is made from salt water. We improve the water to the Reverse Osmosis so the membranes last much longer. In this way, we multiply the sustainability of these kinds of plants and reduce the total cost of ownership.

      However, meanwhile we are still a start-up, and the future is unknown to everyone. Yet, this doesn’t keep us from innovating and trying to reach our goal.

      IRON IN REMEDIATION