I am currently researching as too which is better for purifying a water sample. I have obviously tried the standard Google search for 'Aluminium Sulphate or Ferric Chloride' and have come up with lots of results. The only problem, is that most of these results are based more around peoples opinions or psuedo-scientific observations. So, to the question:

What chemical reasons are there for choosing Aluminium Sulphate over Ferric Chloride to refine a water sample?


On addition of inorganic coagulants like aluminium sulfate(alum) or Iron salts causes several chemical and physical interaction take place among particles.

This inorganic coagulants neutralize the negative charge on particles. Also metal hydroxide precipitates of the aluminum and iron salts ions begin to form.

This precipitates combine to form larger particles under natural processes such as Brownian motion

Aluminum hydroxides are formed within a fairly narrow pH range, typically: 5.5 to about 7.7. Iron (III) hydroxides can form over a larger pH range including pH levels lower than are effective for alum, typically: 5.0 to 8.5

Source wikipedia

  • $\begingroup$ Can you explain the Brownian motion? $\endgroup$ – Bob Dylan Apr 26 '15 at 10:46
  • $\begingroup$ @BobDylan I have added link and also updated source link. Please check out both the link. $\endgroup$ – Freddy Apr 26 '15 at 13:46

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