Fe0/H2O Systems for Environmental Remediation: The Scientific History and Future Research Directions
Citable Link (URL):http://resolver.sub.uni-goettingen.de/purl?gs-1/15749
Elemental iron (Fe0) has been widely used in groundwater/soil remediation, safe drinking water provision, and wastewater treatment. It is still mostly reported that a surface-mediated reductive transformation (direct reduction) is a dominant decontamination mechanism. Thus, the expressions “contaminant removal” and “contaminant reduction” are interchangeably used in the literature for reducible species (contaminants). This contribution reviews the scientific literature leading to the advent of the Fe0 technology and shows clearly that reductive transformations in Fe0/H2O systems are mostly driven by secondary (FeII, H/H2) and tertiary/quaternary (e.g., Fe3O4, green rust) reducing agents. The incidence of this original mistake on the Fe0 technology and some consequences for its further development are discussed. It is shown, in particular, that characterizing the intrinsic reactivity of Fe0 materials should be the main focus of future research.