Ferric Chloride in water treatment and production of pharmaceuticals

Author Joanna Sikorska
Reading time 7 minut
Publication date 16 February 2023
  • Ferric Chloride, also known as Iron (III) Chloride, is a salt of Hydrochloric Acid and iron.
  • It occurs as a solid, but industry usually uses its 40% solution.
  • Ferric Chloride 40% is widely known for purifying water.

What is Ferric Chloride?

 Ferric Chloride, also known as Iron (III) Chloride, is an inorganic chemical compound, more specifically, a salt of Hydrochloric Acid and iron. It is obtained by treating iron with chlorine, but industrially it is produced by dissolving iron ore in Hydrochloric Acid, oxidizing iron (II) chloride with chlorine, or oxidizing iron (II) chloride with oxygen and Hydrochloric Acid. When Ferric Chloride is dissolved in water, it hydrolyzes and a brown, strongly corrosive, acidic solution is formed. Ferric Chloride is not to be confused with ferrous chloride, which is formed by the reaction of the synthesis of Hydrochloric Acid and iron oxide.

Ferric Chloride is a widely known chemical with various industrial applications. Do you want to know more about this unique substance? Then be sure to read on!

Properties of Ferric Chloride

Ferric Chloride is a crystalline solid. Its color depends on the viewing angle. In reflected light it is green, while in transmitted light it has a red color. It has strong hygroscopic properties. Ferric Chloride is also available in the form of a solution in various concentrations ranging from 40% to 96% – each has a different effect and application. Foodcom S.A. offers its Business Partners a 40% solution of Ferric Chloride, which is a brown liquid with a faint Hydrochloric Acid odor. It is highly corrosive to most metals and is non-flammable.

Ferric Chloride 40% is a flocculant, which means that it collects very fine, slowly floating impurities in larger clusters. It is also soluble in a very wide pH range, which is why it is mainly used in wastewater treatment. This chemical also acts as an odorant, oxidizing and reducing agent. Ferric Chloride is a sequestering agent in different chemical processes. In addition, it is a hemostatic agent – it has the ability to bind a considerable amount of proteins in the blood.

Although Ferric Chloride has many properties that are useful in a variety of industries, it is corrosive and can be harmful to the skin and eyes, so it is important that you store it properly.

Uses of Ferric Chloride

Ferric Chloride in water treatment and production of pharmaceuticals

Ferric Chloride is mainly used in the chemical industry. In general, it finds its uses in:

  • water and wastewater treatment,
  • laboratories,
  • the production of printed circuit boards,
  • jewelry making,
  • medicine.

 As mentioned earlier, Ferric Chloride is used primarily in water treatment. It helps remove fine particles that are not removed from the water even after filtration. When Ferric Chloride 40% is added to the water, the particles clump together and combine into larger clumps that become heavy enough to sink to the bottom and eventually clean the water. Ferric Chloride 40% is also used in wastewater treatment to remove phosphorus and prevent the formation of hydrogen sulfide, an extremely toxic gas.

 Ferric Chloride is also commonly used by chemists in laboratories. In organic chemical reactions it is a catalyst. It is generally used in processing various chemical reactions, for example, it oxidizes copper (I) chloride to copper (II) chloride during a chemical reaction with copper chloride. It can also be used as a sequestering agent in chemical processes.

Ferric Chloride is also used in the manufacture of printed circuit boards, as it forms a copper etching solution used in the manufacture of printed circuit boards. In jewelry making it is an etchant for copper, silver, brass and other metals.

 It may be interesting to know that Ferric Chloride is also important in medicine. As mentioned earlier, it is a hemostatic agent capable of binding proteins in the blood. It is also included in the medicine against anemia.

Ferric Chloride as an important raw material for the industry

Undoubtedly, all chemicals deserve attention as they continue to evolve, but as you can see from this article, Ferric Chloride is a chemical to keep an eye on. It is not only used in water treatment and in the chemical industry in general. Its properties can be useful in so many other areas. If you think that Ferric Chloride 40% could boost your business as well, do not hesitate and choose to trade with Foodcom S.A.!

Why Foodcom?

Our great team of Sales Support will help our Traders conduct the contract and business deals in a smooth and efficient way to ensure the best quality service to all our Business Partners. Our logistics team will take care of transportation and the financial department will be responsible for all matters connected with the financial part of the deal. Do not hesitate! Contact us.