Potassium permanganate, iron, manganese, oxidation, drinking water


A research project assessing the effectiveness of potassium permanganate (KMnO4) for the treatment of iron (Fe) and manganese (Mn) has been conducted by the University of Central Florida (UCF) on behalf of the United States Navy with regards to the water supply on the island of Guam, located in the Marianas Islands. The study consisted of three basic investigative components: one that examined the use of potassium permanganate for iron and manganese control for Fena Lake, a second that examined the existing unit operations that comprised the Navy's water treatment plant (NWTP), and a third that examined iron and manganese field sampling analytical procedures. In the first and primary component of the research, surface water from Fena Lake located within the Naval Magazine in proximity of Santa Rita, Guam was collected at several different lake depths and initially analyzed for iron and manganese using inductively coupled plasma. Subsequent aliquots of Fena Lake collected at the various water depths were transferred to jars then dosed with varying amounts of potassium permanganate after which iron and manganese content was determined. The jars were covered to simulate actual lake to plant transfer conditions experienced at the Navy's on-island facilities. A portion of the jars was dosed with potassium permanganate prior to metals analysis in order to allow for comparisons of baseline conditions. To represent conventional treatment processes, the water samples were then coagulated with aluminum sulfate prior to filtration to remove the oxidized manganese and iron formed from the addition of the potassium permanganate. Coagulated aliquots were filtered and collected to evaluate residual dissolved iron and manganese content. Based on the results of the jar tests it was determined that manganese was reduced by 95% or greater and that iron was completely removed to below the analytical detection limit (0.001 mg/L). It was determined that the potassium permanganate dose required for oxidation of iron was 0.94 mg/mg iron and for manganese was 1.92 mg/mg manganese. It was also observed that when the jars containing aliquots that turned brown in color after potassium permanganate dosing meant that iron and manganese were present and were being oxidized; however, water samples that turned pink were found to be over-dosed with potassium permanganate. The pink water is an undesired characteristic and could result in customer complaints when distributed to the system. The second component of research focused on NWTP existing conditions. Water samples were collected after each key unit operation within the NWTP and analyzed for iron and manganese. This was to determine if pre-chlorination at Fena Lake was effective at removing iron and manganese that could be present in the source water. Analysis was conducted where pre-chlorination at Fena Lake was practiced as well as when no pretreatment was practiced prior to the NWTP. It was determined that the iron and manganese were not detected downstream of the coagulation unit operation within the NWTP even when pre-chlorination was not practiced. Consequently pre-chlorination of Fena Lake source water was not required for controlling iron and manganese under the conditions experienced in this study. A third study was also implemented to confirm that 0.1-micron filters are appropriate for use in preparing samples for analytical determination of iron and manganese analysis at various points within the NWTP. The filtration step is important to delineate between dissolved and suspended iron and manganese forms. Standard Methods 3120B recommends the use of 0.45-micron filters, although based on literature it has been shown that oxidized manganese particles may be smaller than a 0.45-micron pore size. Unless a coagulant was used, the oxidized manganese may not be fully removed via the 0.45-micron filter. To verify the effectiveness of using a 0.1-micron filter, a jar test was conducted to compare the use of a 0.1-micron filter, a 0.45-micron filter, and a 0.45-micron filter after the sample has been coagulated. It was found that the use of a 0.1-micron filter was superior to the use of 0.45-micron filters even with coagulant addition when directly comparing between dissolved and suspended iron and manganese forms. It is recommended that 0.1-microns be utilized in lieu of historically recommended 0.45-micron filters for sample preparation procedures.


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Graduation Date





Duranceau, Steven


Master of Science in Environmental Engineering (M.S.Env.E.)


College of Engineering and Computer Science


Civil, Environmental, and Construction Engineering

Degree Program

Environmental Engineering








Release Date

May 2015

Length of Campus-only Access


Access Status

Masters Thesis (Open Access)


Dissertations, Academic -- Engineering and Computer Science; Engineering and Computer Science -- Dissertations, Academic