Peracetic Acid - Disinfectant for Industrial Wastewater

Peracetic Acid, or PAA, is an organic peroxide compound with the formula CH₃CO₃H. Peracetic Acid is environmentally friendly as it hydrolyzes to acetic acid and hydrogen peroxide in water. Peracetic Acid is a broad-spectrum biocide with a fast reaction time (minutes rather than hours) and leaves no harmful by-products. Peracetic acid is a strong oxidant and disinfectant with oxidation potential higher than that of chlorine or chlorine dioxide. PAA is available in the form of equilibrium mixture which also contains hydrogen peroxide, acetic acid (vinegar) and water as shown by the following equation:

CH3CO2H + H2O2 <–> CH3CO3H + H2O

Acetic Acid + Hydrogen Peroxide <-> Peracetic Acid + Water


Benefits of Using Peracetic Acid (PAA)


  • Highly effective microbial kill

  • No formation of chlorinated disinfection by-products

  • Stable in storage

  • Environmentally friendly decomposition products

  • Long shelf life (12 to 18 Months)

  • Minimal pH and temperature dependence

  • Safe and easy handling & storage


Examples of Microbiological Control Applications for Industrial Treatment

Sulfate Reducing Bacteria (SRB) Control

Broad spectrum control for sulfate-reducing (SRB) and aerobic bacteria. Does not interfere with other frac fluid chemistries. Environmentally safe alternative to chlorine and glutaraldehyde.

Frac Water Ponds

PAA has been shown to significantly reduce or eliminate Sulfate Reducing Bacteria (SRB's) and their byproduct H2S, eliminating sulfide odor, increasing worker safety, and protecting oilfield assets.

Wastewater Disinfection

Replaces chlorine, sodium hypochlorite, and is as a low-capital alternative to UV, chlorine dioxide and ozone. The PAA treatment decomposes into biodegradable components and does not create chlorinated compounds or harmful disinfection by-products.

Biofouling Control in Paper Machine White Water Circuits

Prevents microbial contamination in the recirculation water and removes slime.


USP's Peracetic Acid (PAA) Turn-key Equipment and Services

USP’s Peracetic Acid Bulk Equipment and Safety Station

USP's turn-key PAA programs provide the highest level of safety, performance and operational reliability. Our equipment systems include design, fabrication, installation and ongoing maintenance.

Dosing Module: USP skid-mounted dosing modules are custom pre-wired, pre-piped, passivated and shop tested. Power and communications panels are included.

Peracetic Acid (PAA): Available in totes and bulk, depending on the product grade and customer's location, in concentrations including 5%, 12% and 15%.

Chemical Management: USP's ChemWatch® advanced controller provides real time remote monitoring including dose rate verification, variance alarming, tank levels, leak detection and internet accessibility.

Safety: Safety shower, eyewash stations, and training for PAA and equipment orientation.

Technical and Applications Services:

  • Maintenance of storage and dosing systems
  • Preventative maintenance service visits

Download our Technical Bulletin Peracetic Acid for Industrial, Oil & Gas Applications (pdf)

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