"Oxidation" refers to electron loss from a reducing agent. It is common to say that "the process has been oxidized."
]Electrons carry negative charges, and the oxidation process leads to an increase in positive valence.
During oxidation, the number of electrons orbiting an element decreases, causing the element to form bonds with oxygen when oxygen is present. Oxygen is naturally attracted to electrons.
Iron can exist in various forms in water, with the most prevalent being ferrous bicarbonate (C2H4FeO6), which is soluble.
Ferrous iron possesses a positive two valence. As ferrous iron undergoes oxidation, the number of electrons decreases, resulting in the development of a positive three valence known as ferric hydroxide: Fe(OH)3.
The most cost-effective method of oxidizing iron in water is thorough aeration using an "aeration tower." The aerator is very similar to a degasification tower or air stripper as it utilizes either forced draft or induced draft air movement to create the enriched oxygen environment needed.