What is Peracetic Acid?
Peracetic Acid (PAA) is a powerful disinfectant due to its high oxidizing potential, effectiveness against a broad range of microorganisms and its favorable environmental profile.
PAA is a liquid organic acid and a very powerful oxidizer. It has a unique oxygen/oxygen bond arrangement that rapidly releases oxygen to destroy bacteria and oxidize unwanted odors (e.g., hydrogen sulfide) and compounds. When PAA is applied to a process it quickly degrades into non-harmful byproducts, acetic acid (a component found in table vinegar) and water. The residual acetic acid eats away at any inorganic scale and then breaks down into carbon dioxide and water.
- Powerful oxidizer
- Destroys bacteria
- Non-harmful byproducts
Where is PAA Used?
Highly effective against a broad range of microorganisms, peracetic acid is the ideal antimicrobial agent for applications across various industries, including agriculture, food processing, water treatment, pulp & paper, and more.
The primary use of PAA is to sanitize and disinfect food processing operations. PAA is also used to remove pathogenic bacteria strains found in beef/pork/poultry as well as in fruit and vegetables. PAA is the product of choice in food processing because of its ease of use, rapid kill, and breakdown into non-harmful biproducts. More importantly, PAA is known as the “cold” sanitizer and is extremely effective at ambient temperatures. The oil and gas industry uses PAA to protect carbon steel piping and equipment from corrosive attack resulting from sulfide forming bacteria. The product is also used to eliminate harmful hydrogen sulfide (H2S) gas emissions at well sites and is used to control nuisance odors emitted from animal processing plants and wastewater treatment facilitates. Lastly, PAA is the product of choice for cooling tower treatments because of its effectiveness in removing biofilm and its favorable aquatic toxicity profile.
How Does PAA Work?
PAA is a two-carbon organic acid that contains lots of oxygen ready for release in the presence of bacteria. The mode of action is oxidation of bacteria cells. The cell walls are quickly destroyed resulting in annihilation of biofilm and bacteria colonies. Unlike hops acid which is only effective against Gram (+) bacteria, PAA is effective at killing both Gram (+) (e.g., lactobacillus) and Gram (-) (e.g., acetobacter) bacteria. Because PAA is a heavy, stable liquid that is very soluble in water, it is many times more effective than conventional oxidizers like bleach, peroxide, and chlorine dioxide. Unlike SO2 and ammonium bisulfite, the byproducts of PAA will not become a food source for bacteria.
- Oxygen release
- Oxidation of bacteria
- Byproducts do not become bacteria food
Benefits of Peracetic Acid
Peracetic acid is regularly used in a variety of industries due to its many benefits. Microbes cost industry billions of dollars per year spent in compromised product. Microbes contaminate and spoil finished products – everything from food to water systems to paper and paint products. We’re able to quickly detect and quantitate specific microorganisms. Peracetic acid provides quick results, allowing our customers to act immediately. Peracetic acid breaks down safely to environmentally friendly residues (acetic acid and hydrogen peroxide) with no toxic byproducts. Odor control solutions containing peracetic acid do not require multiple chemicals to generate and are considered a more powerful and stable oxidizer than hydrogen peroxide.
Peracetic Acid and Food Production
Peracetic acid is used for sanitizing of food contact surfaces, sanitizing and disinfecting of animal premises and as a food processing aid for antimicrobial intervention without imparting odors, colors, or flavors to the finished product.
Peracetic Acid and Water Treatment
Peracetic acid harnesses the power of oxygen for the treatment of effluent wastewater, secondary disinfection, combined sewer overflows and other non-potable water applications.
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