Water/Wastewater

Environmental benefits of utilising hydrogen peroxide and peracetic acid

Jun 20 2018 Read 335 Times

The unique chemical properties of hydrogen peroxide as well as its ecological friendliness predestinate this chemical for an extensive use in a variety of environmental applications. There are numerous examples where hydrogen peroxide helps to prevent or reduce negative impacts on the environment.

Furthermore, Hydrogen peroxide is often regarded as a true “green chemical”. In contrast to many other red-ox agents, hydrogen peroxide introduces no additional substances other than water into the reaction system and an excess can be easily decomposed into water and oxygen, not interfering thereby with subsequent reaction steps.

In case of peracetic acid (PAA) the degradation or derived product is acetic acid (AA), which is readily biodegradable in water and not bioaccumulative.

Despite its high reactivity, pure hydrogen peroxide and peracetic acid products from Evonik are stable substances and, if kept under optimal conditions, can be stored for years. The most important factors increasing the rate of decomposition are high pH values, high temperatures, UV-irradiation, presence of transition metal salts and all kinds of impurities. Decomposition of hydrogen peroxide and peracetic acid is a quite complex process, which involves formation of various free radicals. In some applications (soil remediation) the induced instability is intentionally caused and used.

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International Environmental Technology June 2018

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