One of a broad variety of water treatment chemicals, hydrogen peroxide is used as a disinfectant and biocide. It is a colourless liquid and as a water treatment chemical it offers various benefits.
What is Hydrogen Peroxide?
Hydrogen peroxide is a chemical compound with the formula H2O2. The French chemist Louis-Jacques Thenard discovered it in 1818.
It contains a combination of two hydrogen atoms and two oxygen atoms. Two H-O radicals form when the peroxide bond between the two oxygen atoms is broken. These radicals react with other substances, while two new radicals form, as a chain reaction takes place.
Hydrogen peroxide is inflammable and at high concentrations, hydrogen peroxide solutions will give off a powerful acidic smell.
As a commercial product, it is manufactured by burning barium salt to produce barium peroxide. Once dissolved in water, the barium peroxide produces hydrogen peroxide.
What is Hydrogen Peroxide Used For?
Hydrogen peroxide is used for different applications because if you change the reaction conditions it will work in different ways.
- One of the main uses of hydrogen peroxide is as a bleaching agent. Around 60% of the hydrogen peroxide produced globally goes on bleaching pulp and paper.
- It is used in the manufacture of sodium percarbonate and sodium perborate, used as bleaches in laundry detergent.
- It is also used a bleach for hair, and for flour.
- As a strong oxidiser, hydrogen peroxide can also treat pollutions that are not easy to oxidise, such as iron and sulphides.
And it is used as a disinfectant in water.
What are the Benefits of Using Hydrogen Peroxide in Water?
Hydrogen peroxide works as a high-level disinfectant. It reacts very quickly, disintegrating into hydrogen and water without leaving any by-products. This process increases the amount of oxygen in water.
The free oxygen radicals then decompose the pollutions, leaving only water. These free radicals will both oxidise and disinfect, and hydrogen peroxide eliminates proteins through oxidation.
It is used to disinfect drinking water due to its high oxidative and biocidal efficiency.
There are various benefits from using hydrogen peroxide as a disinfectant in water treatment:
- It leaves no trace of chemical residues because the peroxide decomposes fully
- It is biodegradable because it disintegrates into water immediately
- It removes any odours in water caused by hydrogen sulphide gas
- It cleans organic deposits from irrigation systems
- It is environmentally safe, as it does not pollute water or contaminate soils.
Is Hydrogen Peroxide Safe?
In chemical form, hydrogen peroxide can cause irritation to the eyes, skin and mucous membranes. If eyes are exposed to concentrations greater than 5% it can cause permanent eye damage. Inhaling hydrogen peroxide causes lung irritation, and it can blister and burn the skin.
But as water treatment disinfectant, hydrogen peroxide is very safe. It combines various advantages that you will not get with any other single form of chemical control:
- It is cost-effective
- It has a low freezing-point
- It offers unlimited solubility in water and it reacts very rapidly
- The oxygen that it leaves behind can help prevent the future production of sulphides or other bacterial chemicals.
How Does Oxyl-Pro Use Hydrogen Peroxide?
Normal hydrogen peroxide does have disadvantages:
- It reacts with catalase, an enzyme that bacteria produce to shield themselves and the more catalase a bacterium emits, the harder it is for hydrogen peroxide to kill it
- It is unstable, which means it is only effective for short periods of time
- Hot water temperatures can compromise its effectiveness.
The solution is to stabilise hydrogen peroxide, using other elements, such as silver.
Silver-stabilised hydrogen peroxide overcomes the issue with catalase, because the silver will react with the catalase and destroy it. This leaves the hydrogen peroxide free to then penetrate the cell wall and eliminate the bacterium.
Oxyl-Pro is a next generation disinfectant with multiple applications, including water treatment.
As a disinfectant, it is based on hydrogen peroxide, but it is different to other types of hydrogen peroxide-based disinfectants.
Instead of using silver or other heavy metals to stabilise the hydrogen peroxide in its formulation, it uses only food-safe ingredients.
The hydrogen peroxide in Oxyl-Pro is aseptic grade, free from contamination. It is the base product in Oxyl-Pro. The food stabilisers added to it create an encapsulated molecule, which will only activate on contact with specific biological markers.
This makes the release of hydrogen-peroxide in Oxyl-Pro extremely efficient, eliminating any waste.
This process is entirely different to other stabilisation techniques. It gives Oxyl-Pro an excellent ecological profile, while helping to ensure its effectiveness as a multi-use disinfectant.
Oxyl-Pro is ideal for a broad range of water treatment. It removes biofilm and it is highly effective against legionella and pseudomonas.