Sodium chlorite vs. hydrogen peroxide: Which is best for your business?
Whilst both effective bleaching agents and disinfectants, they provide advantages and therefore varying applications and advantages. Let’s explore both.
Sodium chlorite – AKA chlorous acid
A highly effective bleaching, antimicrobial and fungicidal agent.
Sodium chlorite is a chemical compound with the formula NaClO2 which comprises sodium (Na), chlorine (Cl) and oxygen (O2). Its clear solution has a mild chlorine-like smell and is produced by reacting chlorine dioxide in sodium hydroxide, with a reducing agent.
It is commonly used in the textile industry to bleach, whiten and strip man-made and natural fibres. It is effective in removing any natural colour, leaving a permanently white fabric without affecting the tensile strength of the fibres.
It can also be used in water treatment as a disinfectant at water treatment works and to treat wastewater in hospitals and to process water in paper mills which improves the performance of paper machines to optimise efficiency.
Its use in the food processing industry is widespread as its anti-microbial properties decontaminate meat and poultry through spraying and dipping, targeting bacterial cell membranes, oxidising amino acid components as well as sulfide and disulfide linkages.
Sodium chlorite is also used in the production of chlorine dioxide which can be used to disinfect poultry processing water. Chlorine dioxide can also be used as a fungicidal agent in the washing of fruits and vegetables.
It is also used as a reagent in the Pinnick oxidation process of aldehydes to carboxylic acids. When used with zinc chloride it has uses in mouthwashes, toothpastes and contacts lens solution.
Our BPR-compliant sodium chlorite can be delivered quickly and reliably in strengths including 2%, 6%, 7.5%, 10%, 15% and 25% in 25 or 200 litre drums, 1000 litre containers or bulk transfers, around the UK and across Europe.
Hydrogen peroxide is also a colourless oxidising agent with a boiling point of 150.2˚C. It is a ‘green’ commodity chemical as it breaks down into oxygen and water molecules. It is also a versatile chemical with many uses from household products to industrial uses.
Hydrogen peroxide is used in a diluted form in watering solutions in agriculture and horticulture. When it decomposes it releases oxygen that boosts the development of plant’s root and helps to treat root rot. On farms it is also used to disinfect wounds of livestock.
Around the home it can be found as a mild bleach in some laundry detergents, while in the recycling and waste industry it is used as an oxidant when recovering non-ferrous metals from electronic waste and for removing ink from paper during the recycling process. The oil and gas industries use hydrogen peroxide to oxidise rock matrix in preparation for micro-fossil analysis.
When used in the water treatment industry it cleans well water and other drinking water sources by removing odours and other organic materials that can affect the taste. As a strong oxidiser it controls sulfide and organic-related odours in wastewater collection and treatment systems.
BOD and COD can be removed when hydrogen peroxide breaks down to oxygen and water, adding dissolved oxygen into the system. Wastewater treatment also benefits from hydrogen peroxide as a pollutant remover.
Hydrogen peroxide has a multitude of other applications which can be found throughout our everyday lives such as teeth whitening, hair bleaching, LCD displays, printed circuit boards and disinfection of food packaging materials.
Our range of hydrogen peroxide is available in 3-50% strengths and from 25 and 200 litre drums to 1000 litre containers or bulk transfers up and down the country and across Europe.
Both chemicals have industrial and everyday uses and both are effective bleaching materials. However, both solutions have two very distinct sets of applications and uses.
Looking for more information about sodium chlorite and hydrogen peroxide?
At Airedale Chemical, we have over 50 years’ experience helping companies and organisations of all sizes to meet their varied chemical requirements. We can supply sodium chlorite and hydrogen peroxide with fast, UK-wide delivery.