Cost-effective Clean Electrochemical Preparation of Ferric Chloride and its Applications

Document Type : Original Article


Chemical Engineering & Pilot Plant Department, Engineering Research Division, National Research Center 33 El-Bohouth St., Dokki, Cairo, Egypt, Post Code 12622


In this investigation, a green, cost-effective clean electrochemical process for preparing a highly concentrated ferric chloride (FeCl3) solution has been proposed. Many operating conditions, affected the used anodic dissolution process for FeCl3 production, were studied. Generating ferrous hydroxide electrochemically then dissolving it by hydrochloric acid and oxidized with chlorine free mixed oxidant, were proceeded steps to reach the production of our target ferric chloride. It is a green, clean, and novel process because it is environmentally and industrial safer than the traditional production technology. The most important studied experimental variables were applied like applied current density, sodium chloride concentration, electrolyte pH, at the most controlling operating parameter which is optimum electrolysis time. Experimental results revealed that optimum current density was 300 mA/cm2; using 30gm/L saline solution, electrodes gap distance 5 cm, and stirring rate 150 rpm at pH 6.5 for 270 minutes, respectively. At these optimal operating parameters, 40% FeCl3 concentration can be prepared to consume 202 watts/liter of high quality with low capital, & operating costs. The economic indicators show that the running cost of production of 40% ferric chloride solution using the proposed cleaner electrochemical production technology will be 241.66$/ton and the suggested price is 450$/ton with a net profit of 156$ with high cash flow using the proposed green technology. The proposed methodology for FeCl3 production reviews the importance of using cleaner production and sustainable development indicators.    


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