Ferric Chloride, also known as Iron chloride, is used in water purification and sewage treatment as a coagulant to improve the overall quality of water.
As a flocculant, chemicals that help small particles in water clump together so they can be removed, Ferric Chloride is dissolved in solution, where it forms an aqueous brown tinted solution. The solution is used to clear water of particles. Additional chemicals, such as chlorine, can be added for disinfecting purposes.
More than 80% of all Ferric Chloride is sold in municipal applications, with 53% sold for municipal wastewater applications, and 37% for potable water treatment applications. Industrial water treatment applications account for 6% of consumption, with the remaining 5% sold in non-water treatment applications, such as electronic and photographic etchants, metal surface treatment, and as a catalyst. Much of the etchant activity has moved to Asia. Electronic applications, especially for PCBs, are small in the United States.
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