Although the use of ferrate (VI), an emerging green oxidant, has been widely investigated to remove organic pollutants in water, its ability to remediate contaminated soils has been scarcely evaluated. Here, we explore the use of ferrate (VI) to degrade a polychlorinated persistent compound, the pentachlorophenol (PCP), in aqueous solution and in an aged contaminated soil under batch, water-saturated and water-unsaturated flow conditions. The first results showed the prominent efficiency of ferrate (VI) over conventional oxidants (e.g. H2O2 and persulfate) in both matrices and at different oxidant doses. In aqueous solution, more than 80% of PCP was degraded by ferrate (VI) while complete removal was observed in soil under batch conditions. In column experiments, PCP removal by ferrate (VI) remained efficient but dependent on the flow rate and water saturation. Maximum PCP removal (95%) in columns was observed under water saturated conditions when ferrate (VI) (0.2 g g−1 of soil) was injected at a low flow rate (i.e. 0.025 mL min−1). This study has strong implications in the development of new sustainable processes based on ferrate (VI) for the remediation of different environmental compartments.
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