The Advantages of On-Site Hydrogen Peroxide Generation Over On-Site Chlorine Generation

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Hydrogen peroxide (H2O2) and chlorine are potent oxidizing agents used extensively across a myriad of industrial applications, including water treatment, disinfection processes, and bleaching in pulp and paper industries. Traditionally, these oxidizers are manufactured off-site and delivered to the user’s location. This traditional supply chain poses several challenges, including high transportation costs, storage difficulties, and potential safety risks. Recent advancements in technology, however, have made it feasible to produce these oxidizing agents on-site, leading to fewer chemical inputs and increased safety. Of these two options, on-site hydrogen peroxide generation, particularly by companies using no chemical inputs like HPNow, has shown promise in offering numerous advantages over on-site chlorine generation.

On-site Generation: An Overview

On-site generation of oxidizing agents eliminates the need for transportation and storage of hazardous chemicals. For chlorine, on-site production usually employs the electrolysis of brine (sodium chloride) solution to produce sodium hypochlorite or hypochlorous acid.

In contrast, on-site generation of green peroxide can be accomplished using only water and electricity, without the need for additional chemicals. HPNow’s proprietary technology, for instance, utilizes a process based on advanced electrochemical cell design and catalytic reactions. This technology harnesses the power of electricity to split water molecules and recombine them into hydrogen peroxide, a process often referred to as the electrochemical synthesis of hydrogen peroxide.

Green peroxide: A safe and sustainable alternative

One of the key benefits of on-site H2O2 production is the superior safety profile and reduced environmental impact compared to on-site chlorine generation. Chlorine is highly toxic and poses a significant risk in case of leaks. In addition, a byproduct of chlorine electrolysis is hydrogen gas, which is highly flammable and requires specialized ventilation and dedicated safety measures. Upon use, chlorine and its by-products have been implicated in numerous environmental issues. Chlorine can react with organic compounds to produce trihalomethanes (THMs) and other disinfection by-products (DBPs), which have potential health risks. Chlorine decomposition also results in the formation of highly toxic chlorates, which are increasingly targeted by regulators.

On the other hand, green peroxide is a more environmentally friendly oxidizing agent. It decomposes naturally into water and oxygen, posing minimal environmental hazard. No disinfection by-products (DBPs) are produced. This makes a very green alternative to the usage of chlorine.

No Chemical Inputs

On-site green peroxide generation eliminates the need for any chemical inputs, as opposed to chlorine, which relies on salt (sodium chloride) or potassium chloride. This is a consumable that needs to be managed.

As on-site peroxide generation does not introduce salts into the water, users avoid any salt accumulation associated with the use of chlorine. This is key in applications involving living beings (either plants, animals or humans), as the increased salinity can be harmful.

Improve system performance by eliminating risk of corrosion

Chlorine and the higher water salinity associated with it also has negative effects on materials  such as stainless steel, brass or plastics. This causes frequent maintenance on the piping and hydraulic system, often involving periodic replacement of pipes, valves and pumps due to chlorine-induced corrosion.

In contrast, green peroxide has greater material compatibility, and does not cause corrosion on plastics or stainless steel, contributing to a lower maintenance cost and an overall smoother operation.

Green peroxide: A more effective alternative

On-site generation of H2O2 also offers benefits in terms of efficiency and efficacy. The ability to produce green peroxide on-demand ensures a fresh supply of the oxidizing agent, eliminating concerns about degradation over time, which can be a challenge with stored chlorine as it decomposes over time, increasing the formation of chlorates.

In terms of efficacy, studies have shown that hydrogen peroxide has strong oxidizing properties across the whole pH range, allowing it to readily react with a wide variety of microorganisms, including bacteria, viruses, and fungi. In contrast, chlorine has a narrow pH window where it is effective, making its dosing and control more delicate to balance.

Scientists have also found hydrogen peroxide to be a superior bacteriostatic agent than chlorine, especially when it comes to preventing the growth of biofilm. Biofilm can lead to various issues such as reduced water flow, increased pathogen growth, and even equipment deterioration. In this regard, hydrogen peroxide’s exceptional efficacy in inhibiting biofilm formation makes it an excellent choice for applications where maintaining a clean and uncontaminated environment is crucial.

Conclusion

On-site generation of oxidizing agents provides significant benefits over traditional supply chains, particularly in terms of safety, environmental impact, and cost. Among the on-site generation options, hydrogen peroxide holds clear advantages over chlorine, particularly when it is generated from only electricity and water.

On-site green peroxide production offers superior safety, lower environmental impact, and a broad range of applications. Furthermore, advancements in technology, as exemplified by companies like HPNow, have made it possible to produce green peroxide on-site in a safe, efficient, and economically viable manner.

As industries continue to seek safer, more environmentally friendly, and cost-effective solutions, on-site green peroxide generation will undoubtedly play an increasingly significant role in various applications.

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