Soil Experiment

The widespread urbanization and industrialization have disrupted various layers of the environment, in particular, the soil and groundwater. The quality of the soil has been significantly impaired due to the excessive accumulation of emerging pollutants, which have a great potential to affect plant and human health. Over the past decades, the occurrence of different emerging contaminants has been witnessed. Heavy metals, volatile organic carbons, pesticides, personal care products (PCPs), pharmaceuticals, organics, and pathogenic microbes perturbed across all different compartments of the environment. Thus, the degradation of ground and surface waters by various emerging pollutants is recognized as a global problem that is still being sought for an affordable and eco-technological approach.


As Ferrate(VI) is famous for its great desirable chemical properties, moreover, sodium ferrate is able to destroy microorganisms, eliminate organic and inorganic contaminants, and eliminate suspended/colloidal materials due to its high oxidizing potential and ability to simultaneously generate ferric coagulating species. This makes ferrate(VI) an efficient material for the development of ferrate-based green technologies in various fields. As well as, the approach for the investigation of the sodium ferrate effect on agricultural soils as well as groundwaters.

The environmental impact assessment of CBC OneDrop project through the soil experiment

The experiment is currently currying out by LUT PhD student Majed Parvan.

OneDrop is a research project on a novel water purification method utilizing sodium ferrate. Since the purified water can be used as irrigation water its environmental Impacts should be assessed. Majed’s experimental part aims to investigate the effect of sodium ferrate on agricultural soils as well as groundwaters. Soil columns are used to study solution and contaminants movement in the agricultural soil environment within a one-meter distance. The simulation part of the experiment will help to provide knowledge on the following questions:

  • Do the contaminants reach the groundwater?
  • What is the fate of the contaminants and sodium ferrate ions in the soil environment after one meter?

The simulation will be done utilizing HYDRUS-1D software to predict the solute movement and behavior of particles in the soil.

The literature reports the Ferrate(VI) is able to completely remove pentachlorophenol from real groundwater (Homolkova et al., 2016). The groundwater with complex contamination was taken from a former production facility. The groundwater contained other organic and inorganic constituents, a high concentration of ferrate was used for the treatment. The results shown in the table below indicated a total degradation of 2-chlorophenol, 4-chlorophenol, dichlorophenol, trichlorophenol, and tetrachlorophenol. The vast majority of pentachlorophenol was degraded too.

Establishment of the soil columns set up

Soil samples

Air-drying, crushing, and sieving the soil

Soil passed through a 2-mm sieve