The oxidation of chloramphenicol (CAP) by potassium ferrate (VI) in test solution was studied in this paper. A series of jar tests were performed at bench scale with pH of 5-9 and molar ratio [VI/CAP] of 16.3:1-81.6:1. Results showed that raising VI dose could improve the treatment performance and the influence of solution pH was significant. VI is more reactive in neutral conditions, presenting the highest removal efficiency of CAP. The rate law for the oxidation of CAP by VI was first order with respect to each reactant, yielding an overall second-order reaction. Furthermore, five oxidation products were observed during CAP oxidation by VI. Results revealed that VI attacked the amide group of CAP, leading to the cleavage of the group, while benzene ring remained intact.