Peracetic Acid effective in search for environmentally friendly alternative waste water disinfectant

Recent research highlighting a growing demand for waste management is fuelling the debate for environmentally friendly Peracetic Acid to displace the commonly used sodium hypochlorite and chlorine dioxide in waste water disinfection and oxidisation.

In recent years there has been a growing body of research undertaken looking into potential replacements for chlorine as a disinfectant in the waste water industry. The research was a result of environmental concerns related to the creation of disinfection by-products (DBPs) and sodium pollution when using Chlorine which historically has been the most commonly used disinfectant worldwide.

Peracetic Acid Investigated

Peracetic Acid is an organic, colourless acid with strong oxidising qualities that is formed by the chemical reaction of acetic acid and hydrogen peroxide or the autoxidation of acetaldehyde. Growing awareness of Peracetic Acid arose due to the reduction or elimination of DBPs in early testing. Furthermore, Peracetic Acid is seen as a greener and environmentally friendlier alternative to Chlorine due to the harmless nature of its by-products acetic acid and hydrogen peroxide.

This prompted the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) in the United States to conduct stringent testing into the effectiveness of Peracetic Acid in wastewater disinfection. The resulting tests have seen Peracetic Acid emerge as the strongest candidate in the search to find an alternative.

Peracetic Acid Effectiveness

The results of the tests conducted by the EPA confirmed the effectiveness of PAA as a wastewater disinfectant. The investigation demonstrated the following critical results:

  • PAA is a stronger disinfectant than hypochlorite and chlorine dioxide
  • Free radicals (hydrogen peroxyl (HO2) and hydroxyl (OH)) play key role in the disinfection process
  • PAA is effective over a wide temperature and pH range
  • Organic matter and storage time does not impact upon effectiveness
  • Environmentally friendly byproducts
  • Absence of DBPs
  • Highly stable
  • Does not affect effluent toxicity
  • Costs effective compared to both sodium hypoclorite and sodium bisulfite

Growing demand

The 2015 Global Peracetic Acid Market Report conducted by market research company Technavio predicts the Peracetic Acid market will continue to experience substantial growth and forecasted a CAGR of over 7% between 2015 – 2018.

The report also highlighted a surge in demand for waste management. With the emergence of the benefits and effectiveness of Peracetic Acid as an environmentally friendly alternative oxidising agent in water treatment, growth in the application of PAA for waste water disinfection is expected.

Find out more about Peracetic Acid.





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