Hydrogen peroxide is a chemical compound with the formula H2O2, widely recognised for its anti-bacterial and bleaching properties. It has a remarkable range of applications and in this article we aim to demystify this versatile substance and shed light on its diverse roles and applications.

As a team committed to promoting effective disinfectant solutions, we understand the significance of hydrogen peroxide in maintaining hygiene and safety in various sectors.

We are also experts in the improvement in performance and efficiency that stabilised hydrogen peroxide offers over lean hydrogen peroxide.

Let’s explore the depth and breadth of hydrogen peroxide uses, ensuring that you’re well-informed about this powerful disinfectant.
 

What is Hydrogen Peroxide?

At its core, hydrogen peroxide is a simple molecule—two hydrogen atoms bonded to two oxygen atoms. Yet, this simplicity belies its reactive nature, as the extra oxygen atom can make it a potent oxidiser. This propensity to release oxygen when it reacts explains why hydrogen peroxide is such an effective disinfectant and bleaching agent.

Example Uses of Hydrogen Peroxide

 

Water Treatment

Potable water is a necessity, and hydrogen peroxide plays a role in ensuring it is wholesome and safe to consume. It’s found to be an effective water treatment agent, helping to remove micro-organisms and disinfect without leaving harmful residues.

The European Chemicals Agency (ECHA) confirms hydrogen peroxide is approved for use as a biocide in Europe for human hygiene, disinfection and drinking water amongst other uses.

Compared to chlorine, another common water treatment chemical, hydrogen peroxide does not form potentially harmful disinfection by-products and leaves no odour, colour, or taste.

Stabilised hydrogen peroxide provides unrivalled stability in both hot and cold water making it the ideal water treatment chemistry.

The HSE confirms that stabilised hydrogen peroxide has a history of use in controlling legionella in water systems and can be an effective means of control in the publication Legionnaires’ disease – Technical Guidance Part 2: The control of Legionella bacteria in hot and cold water systems.
 

Surface Disinfection

Hydrogen peroxide is a potent surface disinfectant due to its strong oxidising properties, which make it effective at destroying harmful micro-organisms, including bacteria, viruses, fungi and spores.

It has been recognised as a “stable and effective disinfectant when used on inanimate surfaces” by the Centre for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)

The following are some example uses for surface disinfection with hydrogen peroxide in a commercial or industrial context:
 

  • Industrial Kitchens: Hydrogen peroxide can disinfect surfaces, cutting boards, cooking utensils, and other high-touch areas.
  • Healthcare Facilities: It’s used for surface disinfection in hospitals, including patient rooms, operating rooms, and other medical facilities.
  • Food Production Surfaces: It can be used to kill bacteria and other pathogens on surfaces and machinery used in food manufacturing and processing facilities.
  • Laboratory Equipment: Hydrogen peroxide can disinfect equipment and surfaces in scientific and medical labs.
  • Ventilation Systems: HVAC systems in commercial buildings are often cleaned with hydrogen peroxide-based cleaners.
  • Production Machinery: These can be effectively cleaned and disinfected with hydrogen peroxide to ensure they are hygienic.
  • Brewery and Winery Equipment: It’s used for cleaning and disinfecting tanks, pipes, barrels, and other brewing equipment.
  • Gym Equipment: It can be used to clean and disinfect gym equipment including machines, yoga mats, and weights.
  • Retail Counters and Shelves: Frequently handled areas in stores like counters, shopping baskets or carts, and touchscreens can be disinfected using hydrogen peroxide.
  • Public Transportation: It can be used to disinfect seats, handrails, buttons, and other high-touch areas in public buses, trains, and taxis.
  • Animal Cages in Zoos and Veterinary Clinics: Hydrogen peroxide assists in cleaning and disinfecting animal cages to promote the animals’ health.
EndoSan Stabilised Hydrogen Peroxide is available in easy to apply and robust 500ml trigger sprays, visit our webstore for more information.
 

Industrial Applications

Hydrogen peroxide is widely utilised in various industries globally for its exceptional oxidising properties. Its ability to decompose into water and oxygen without leaving harmful residues has made it a preferred choice for a multitude of applications.

Numerous industrial processes, specifically those that involve bleaching, cleaning, and disinfection, greatly benefit from the effectiveness of hydrogen peroxide. Additionally, processes that involve recirculating and recycling of water find this versatile compound particularly advantageous.

The following are just some examples of industrial applications that heavily rely on hydrogen peroxide:
 

  • Pulp and Paper Mills: The papermaking process makes use of large amounts of water, which is often recirculated. Biocides like hydrogen peroxide can maintain the cleanliness of this water.
  • Textile Manufacturing: Water is a key part of several processes within textile manufacturing, where it’s used for dyeing, finishing, and washing. Hydrogen peroxide can increase brightness levels, improve brightness stability, and reduce manufacturing costs compared to other chemicals.
  • Electronics Industry: Hydrogen peroxide is used as an oxidising and cleaning agent in the production of printed circuit boards (PCBs) and semiconductors.
  • Plastic and Rubber Industry: Water is used for cooling in the plastics manufacturing process. Regular recirculation carries the risk of bacterial and fungal growth which can be reduced using hydrogen peroxide.
  • Chemical Processing: Hydrogen peroxide is used during chemical synthesis and production due to it being an efficient oxidising agent and its solubility in organic solvents and water.
  • Car Manufacturing Plants: Hydrogen peroxide is used in the automotive industry in the production of catalytic convertors and to clean and degrease automotive parts.
  • Paint and Coatings Industry: Water-based paints and coatings make use of water as a key ingredient. The process also involves cleaning and rinsing equipment with water, which can be recirculated and treated with hydrogen peroxide for reuse.

Horticulture

Growers have discovered that hydrogen peroxide can do wonders for plant health when used correctly. It can help fend off diseases, aerate the soil, and even enhance root development. However, it’s crucial to get the concentration and approach right—too strong or applied incorrectly, and it can harm the plants it’s meant to help.

Stabilised hydrogen peroxide can be used effectively in horticulture to disinfect and maintain irrigation systems, clear blocked drippers and lines while ensuring high quality oxygen enriched water is delivered to crops.

Food Processing and Preservation

Food safety is a critical concern, and hydrogen peroxide contributes significantly to this realm. It’s utilised in food processing, for example, in the aseptic packaging of milk and fruit juices to eliminate potential pathogens. Its swift degradation into harmless by-products ensures that it doesn’t compromise the edibility or nutritional value of food products.

EndoSan stabilised hydrogen peroxide is both kosher and halal certified and provides many advantages for use in food and beverage applications.

Stabilised Hydrogen Peroxide: Enhancing Efficacy, Stability and Shelf-life

Innovation in hydrogen peroxide stabilisation has led to the development of products like EndoSan with increased efficacy, efficiency and extended shelf-life. Lean hydrogen peroxide has limitations due to it being a relatively unstable compound that decomposes rapidly. Its rapid decomposition limits its effectiveness over time.

Stabilisation of hydrogen peroxide protects the compound from premature decomposition, which makes it a strong rival to traditional disinfection chemistries for both industrial and domestic use.

EndoSan’s unique stabilisation makes it a highly effective surface disinfectant that requires no post disinfection rinsing (unless applied in a food preparation or production setting) and allows it to remain active in water for extended periods providing residual protection against microorganism threat.

Laboratory testing has shown EndoSan stabilised hydrogen peroxide remains active and stable in both hot and cold water for periods way in excess of that offered by chlorine based disinfectants.

EndoSan has found significant use cases in markets and sectors that value longevity and performance of disinfecting agents offering a solution that is not only highly effective but without any potential for toxic gasses, neutralisation or disinfection by-products that may be hazardous to human health.

About the Author

Mike Morrison is the EndoSan UK Product Manager, an experienced professional with over two decades of expertise in the water and hygiene industry. With a strong background in sales and operations, Mike has successfully navigated the challenges of various roles, enabling him to acquire comprehensive knowledge and experience in delivering exceptional results.

Mike’s deep understanding of the EndoSan product, coupled with his extensive network and customer-centric approach, positions him as a leading expert in the field.

With his wide knowledge in water and hygiene services, Mike is committed to sharing valuable insights and expert advice through EndoSan articles. By consistently delivering high-quality content, Mike aims to educate and inform readers on the benefits and applications of EndoSan Stabilised Hydrogen Peroxide, as well as other pertinent topics within the industry.

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Endo Enterprises (UK) Ltd
Unit 231, Europa Boulevard,
Warrington,
Cheshire,
WA5 7TN
United Kingdom

 

Tel: +44 (0)1925 747 101
enquiries@endosan.com
www.endoenterprises.com

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