Potassium Permanganate and Hydrogen Sulfide Control

Potassium Permanganate Applications

Potassium Permanganate (KMnO4) is specialty technology for short duration hydrogen sulfide control in collection system gravity and forcemain discharges, recycle streams, solids processing, septage and leachate. Potassium permanganate has been used for over 30 years in hydrogen sulfide control applications and is a well understood technology.

Potassium permanganate oxidizes hydrogen sulfide and organic odors. Potassium permanganate is very fast reacting (on the order of seconds) with hydrogen sulfide and organic odor compounds, making it a good choice for application in solids processing where retention times may be very short.

Potassium Permanganate Properties and Dosing

Potassium permanganate is a granular product sold in 25 or 50 kg pails, 4000 lb bins, and bulk deliveries of up to 40,000. A larger "nugget" product is available for solids blankets (clarifiers) and other slow-release applications.

Potassium permanganate oxidizes hydrogen sulfide according to the following equations:

Neutral-Acid pH:

3H2S + 2 KMnO4 3S + 2 MnO2

Alkaline pH:

3S2- + 8 KMnO4 3SO42- + 8 MnO2

Theoretical dose ratios of KMnO4 are dependent on the pH of the solution being treated. Under neutral-acid pH, the theoretical dose ratio is 3.1 lbs KMnO4:lb H2S with practical dose rates anywhere from 3.5 to 5 depending on the application. Under alkaline pH conditions, the theoretical dose ratio is 12.4 lbs KMnO4:lb H2S with practical dose rates anywhere from 12.5 to 15 depending on the application.

Potassium Permanganate Cost for Treatment

Typical pricing for potassium permanganate averages $2.25 per pound 98% material. The cost per pound of sulfide treated is anywhere from $8.00 to $11.50 under neutral-acid pH and $28.00 to $35.00 under alkaline pH conditions.

Potassium Permanganate Drawbacks

Some drawbacks of potassium permanganate use are as follows:

  • Relatively high cost
  • Labor intensive feed systems
  • Messy to handle
  • Provides no residual H2S control
  • Solids production is > 3 lbs/lb Sulfide
  • Oxidizer classification may restrict feed sites

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