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Hydrogen peroxide is a disinfectant.

Peroxide (H2O2) 

Most people are familiar with hydrogen peroxide as a bleaching agent. It can also be used to sterilize water. 

When did hydrogen peroxide first appear on the scene? 

Hydrogen peroxide was discovered in 1818 by Louis Jacque Thenard. Oxygen and hydrogen atoms make up hydrogen peroxide. These can be found all around the world. Two hydrogen atoms and two oxygen atoms combine to form hydrogen peroxide. 

Hydrogen peroxide is found at low concentrations in the environment. Photochemical reactions in the atmosphere around the earth produce gaseous hydrogen peroxide. It can also be found in minute amounts in water. 

What qualities does hydrogen peroxide have? 

The peroxide ion is found in peroxide, a chemical substance (O22-). 

A single bond between two oxygen atoms forms the peroxide ion: (O-O) 

2-. It’s a powerful oxidizer. 

The chemical formula for hydrogen peroxide is H2O2, and the structural formula is: H-O-O-H 

The hydrogen peroxide molecule has one extra oxygen atom compared to the more stable water molecule. The so-called peroxide link between the two oxygen atoms is broken, resulting in the formation of two H-O radicals. These radicals react swiftly with other substances, forming

additional radicals and initiating a chain reaction. Hydrogen peroxide solutions have the appearance of water and can be dissolved in it without restriction. These solutions emit an unpleasant, acidic odor at high doses. Hydrogen peroxide is a non-flammable substance. It solidifies at low temperatures. The amount of hydrogen peroxide in the solution is given as a percentage of the total weight of the solution. Hydrogen peroxide concentrations of 35 or 50 percent are used to treat water. 


Because of its high selectivity, hydrogen peroxide is used in various applications. Hydrogen peroxide can attack a variety of pollutants by altering the reaction circumstances (temperature, pH, dosage, reaction duration, and the inclusion of a catalyzer). 

Hydrogen peroxide’s corrosiveness 

The amount of dissolved oxygen created determines the corrosiveness of process water caused by hydrogen peroxide. Iron-containing metals corrode when exposed to oxygen. Corrosiveness is influenced more by the amount of iron and pH than by the concentration of hydrogen peroxide. 

Hydrogen peroxide decomposition 

During transportation, hydrogen peroxide might decompose. There is a release of oxygen and heat. Although hydrogen peroxide is explosive in and of itself, oxygen can exacerbate the inflammation of other compounds. The heat is absorbed by water in diluted solutions. The temperature of concentrated solutions is raised, hastening the breakdown of hydrogen peroxide. For every 10°C increase in temperature, the rate of destruction is doubled by 2. The decomposition of hydrogen peroxide is also accelerated by alkalinity and pollution. 

Special catalyzers are employed to generate hydrogen peroxide to ensure that hydrogen peroxide is not damaged by contaminants in the water.

How is hydrogen peroxide being made? 

Hydrogen peroxide has been a commercial product since 1880. It was first made in the United Kingdom by converting barium salt (Ba) into barium peroxide (BaO2). After that, the barium peroxide was dissolved in water, yielding hydrogen peroxide. The generation of hydrogen peroxide has risen dramatically during the nineteenth century. Approximately half a billion kilograms are generated each year. 

What are the methods for transporting and storing hydrogen peroxide? 

Hydrogen peroxide must be transported in polyethylene, stainless steel, or aluminum containers. When hydrogen peroxide comes into touch with flammable materials like wood, paper, oil, or cotton (cellulose), it can cause spontaneous combustion. Heavy explosions can occur when hydrogen peroxide is coupled with organic substances such as alcohols, acetone, other ketones, aldehydes, and glycerol. 

Hydrogen peroxide can cause tremendous explosions when it comes into contact with substances like iron, copper, chromium, lead, silver, manganese, sodium, potassium, magnesium, nickel, gold, platinum, metalloids, metal oxides, or metal salts. Because of this, hydrogen peroxide is typically delivered diluted. 

What are some of the uses for hydrogen peroxide? 

The earliest recorded use of hydrogen peroxide was for bleaching straw hats, which were popular at the turn of the century. Electrolysis was used to create hydrogen peroxide from 1920 until 1950. This approach yielded hydrogen peroxide in its purest form. Self-oxidation techniques are now commonly employed to produce hydrogen peroxide. Hydrogen is used as a raw ingredient in these operations. 

Hydrogen peroxide’s versatility

Hydrogen peroxide is a versatile substance that can be used in various ways. It works in all media, including air, water, wastewater, and soils. It’s occasionally used with other agents to improve and speed up operations. The most frequent method for removing contaminants from wastewater and the air is to utilize hydrogen peroxide. It inhibits bacterial development (for example, biofouling in water systems). Adding oxygen can promote bacterial growth (for example, bioremediation of polluted soils and groundwater). It can also be used to remediate both easily oxidized pollutions (such as iron and sulfides) and difficult-to-oxidize pollutions (for example, dissolved solids, gasoline, and pesticides). 

Finally, it may be used to bleach paper, textiles, teeth, hair and make food, minerals, petrochemical compounds, and laundry detergent. Hydrogen peroxide is employed as an oxygen source in Russian submarines in its pure form. 

Is it possible to utilize hydrogen peroxide as an oxidizer? 

Hydrogen peroxide is a potent oxidizer. It outperforms chlorine (Cl2), chlorine dioxide (ClO2), and potassium permanganate (KP) (KMnO4). Hydrogen peroxide can be transformed into hydroxy radicals using catalysis (OH). Hydrogen peroxide has a somewhat lower oxidation potential than ozone. 

What is the dosage of hydrogen peroxide? 

The majority of hydrogen peroxide uses involve injecting hydrogen peroxide into moving water. There are no additional chemicals or equipment needed. This application controls biological development, adds oxygen, removes chlorine residues, and oxidizes sulfides, sulfites, metals, and other easily oxidized compounds. pH, temperature, and reaction time all influence the usefulness of hydrogen peroxide for these applications. 

hydrogen peroxide catalytic

Pollutions that are difficult to oxidize require catalyzers to activate hydrogen peroxide (iron, manganese, or other metalloids). These catalyzers can help speed up hydrogen peroxide reactions that usually take hours or days to complete. 

What are advanced oxidation processes, and how do they work? 

In hydrogen peroxide disinfection, advanced oxidation techniques are a recent development. Without the use of metal catalyzers, these activities yield reactive oxygen radicals. Ultra Violet Light or a mixture of hydrogen peroxide and ozone (peroxide) are two examples. These technologies provide far-reaching oxidation of difficult-to-degrade compounds without leaving residues or sludge. These procedures are utilized for groundwater treatment, drinking water and process water treatment, and disinfection and removal of organic matter from industrial wastewater worldwide. 

What is the mechanism of hydrogen peroxide disinfection? 

Hydrogen peroxide is employed as a disinfectant, among other things. It’s used to treat gum inflammation and to sterilize (drinking) water, among other things. It’s also utilized in water systems and cooling towers to control excessive microbial development. 

Hydrogen peroxide is increasingly being utilized to treat individual water supplies in the United States. It is used to prevent pollution degradation (iron, manganese, sulfates) and microorganism degradation from forming colors, tastes, corrosion, and scaling. Hydrogen peroxide reacts really quickly. It will then decompose into hydrogen and water, leaving no leftovers behind. This raises the oxygen content of the water. 

Hydrogen peroxide’s disinfecting method is dependent on the release of free oxygen radicals: H2O2 = H2O + O2 = H2O2 = H2O2 = H2O2 = H2O2

Free oxygen radicals break down pollutants, leaving just water behind. Free radicals can both oxidize and disinfect. Proteins are destroyed by hydrogen peroxide due to oxidation. 

Peroxides including hydrogen peroxide (H2O2), perborate, pyrophosphate, and persulfate are effective disinfectants and oxidizers. In general, these are effective at removing microorganisms. These peroxides, on the other hand, are volatile. 

Perborates are highly poisonous. PAA (peracetic acid) is a powerful acid. In its purest form, it can be pretty aggressive. For wastewater treatment, stabilized persulphates can be used instead of chlorine. 

Is hydrogen peroxide used to sterilize drinking water? 

Hydrogen peroxide was initially used to disinfect drinking water in Eastern Europe in the 1950s. Its great oxidative and biocidal efficacy is well-known. Although hydrogen peroxide has not been widely employed for drinking water treatment, its popularity appears to be growing. It’s frequently utilized in conjunction with ozone, silver, or UV. 

Is hydrogen peroxide used to sterilize swimming pools? 

Peroxides have a limited application in disinfection and water treatment. More stable variants have recently been created, and they can now be utilized in swimming pools. 

A large amount of hydrogen peroxide is required for disinfection. The main problem is that hydrogen peroxide has a limited disinfecting and oxidizing capacity at active concentrations (tens of milligrams per liter) required for pool disinfection. Another issue is hydrogen peroxide’s rapid breakdown in water and the existence of oxygen radicals. The decomposition of hydrogen peroxide can be delayed by adding a stabilizer, allowing the disinfecting ability to be retained. 

Hydrogen peroxide is a weak disinfectant compared to chlorine, bromine, ozone, and other disinfectants. Hydrogen peroxide disinfection of swimming pools is not permitted unless used in conjunction with other disinfectants (UV, ozone, silver salts, or ammonia quart salts). Other disinfectants’ disinfecting ability is improved by hydrogen peroxide.

Is it possible to sterilize cooling tower water using hydrogen peroxide? 

When coupled with other disinfectants, hydrogen peroxide can disinfect cooling tower water. Peracetic acid (CH3COOH, PAA) can disinfect cooling tower water. 

Is hydrogen peroxide effective at removing chlorine? 

Dechlorination, or the removal of residual chlorine, can be accomplished with hydrogen peroxide. When residual chlorine is oxidized by air or condensates in process systems, it produces corrosive acids. 

Hydrogen peroxide disintegrates into water and oxygen when chlorine combines with it. Chlorine gas is converted to hypochlorous acid (HOCl), which is then ionized to produce hypochlorite ions (OCl). 

Cl2 + HOCl + H+ + Cl + Cl+ Cl+ Cl+ Cl+ Cl+ Cl+ Cl+ Cl+ Cl 

HOCl + H+ + Cl = HOCl + H+ + Cl 

Hydrogen peroxide interacts with hypochlorite after that: 

Cl- + H2O + O2 -> OCl- + H2O2 (g) 

The reaction of hydrogen peroxide with hypochlorite occurs very quickly. Hypochlorite does not react with other organic or inorganic compounds. 

What are the benefits and drawbacks of using hydrogen peroxide? 


Unlike other chemical compounds, Hydrogen peroxide does not leave behind any residues or gases. Because hydrogen peroxide is fully water-soluble, its safety is dependent on the concentration used. 


Hydrogen peroxide is a highly potent oxidant. It can react with a wide range of chemicals. As a precaution, it is diluted throughout transportation. However, significant amounts of hydrogen peroxide are required for disinfection. 

Hydrogen peroxide breaks down into water and oxygen over time. This process is aided by a rise in temperature and pollutants. 

The amount of hydrogen peroxide in a solution diminishes over time. This occurs as a result of the following reaction: 

2 H2O2 + 2 H2O + O2 = 2 H2O2 + 2 H2O2 + 2 H2O2 + 2 H2 

This is an example of a redox reaction. Hydrogen molecules are reductors and oxidizers in equal measure. 

Is hydrogen peroxide a viable option? 

pH, catalyzers, temperature, peroxide concentration, and reaction time all influence the efficiency of hydrogen peroxide. 

What are the harmful consequences of hydrogen peroxide on the human body?

Inhalation of moisture or mist, food ingestion, and skin or ocular contact are all ways to be exposed to hydrogen peroxide. The eyes, skin, and mucous membranes can be irritated by hydrogen peroxide. The eyes can be permanently damaged if they are exposed to 5% or higher quantities. According to tests conducted by the American International Agency on Cancer Research (IARC), hydrogen peroxide can be harmful to animals. Hydrogen peroxide is mutagenic, meaning it changes and damages DNA, according to laboratory testing with bacteria. Inhaling hydrogen peroxide causes lung discomfort in humans. Blisters, burns, and skin bleaching are all symptoms of skin exposure. The lungs, intestines, thymus, liver, and kidneys are among the organs that are particularly vulnerable to hydrogen peroxide exposure. Chronic exposure’s effects on people are unknown. So yet, no effects on reproduction or development have been documented. 

What does the law say about hydrogen peroxide? 


The European Drinking Water Standard 98/83/EC makes no mention of hydrogen peroxide. 


In 1977, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) registered hydrogen peroxide as a pesticide in the United States. 

What substances can hydrogen peroxide be coupled with? 

Hydrogen peroxide can be mixed with other chemicals for disinfection. Peracetic acid and peroxide, for example.