What is Chlorine Dioxide?
Chlorine Dioxide is a common bleaching agent that is used in disinfectants and has additional industrial uses. It is not safe to swallow and if ingested, it can have adverse health effects.
Chlorine dioxide is an oxidant, which means it removes electrons from another compound during a chemical reaction and can be toxic to certain microbes. It can also disrupt the cellular processes of bacteria and viruses by taking electrons from their protein molecules, causing them to break apart and die.
It is an effective bactericide and fungicide. It can be used to disinfect drinking water and commercial cooling tower systems, metal cutting fluids, and dairy farm animals and milking equipment. It can also be used as a biocide in the food industry to prevent the growth of bacteria that cause staph infections and other illnesses in humans and animals.
When it is used in the right concentrations, chlorine dioxide does not produce a lasting residual. It is effective over a wide pH range and is minimally corrosive, but it can be dangerous in high concentrations if ingested or if it comes into contact with sensitive surfaces such as the eyes or skin.
In the case of human drinking water, the EPA recognizes and includes the use of chlorine dioxide in its guidelines for disinfecting drinking water. It is effective against bacteria and other harmful microorganisms in the water, and it is included in the WHO’s guidelines for drinking-water quality.
Because it is less toxic than chlorine, it can be used to reduce the amount of disinfection byproducts in drinking water. These byproducts include trihalomethanes, which can cause cancer in humans and halogenated acidic acids that are harmful to water treatment systems and the environment.
The use of chlorine dioxide in the drinking water industry has been limited by a number of factors. One is the presence of chlorite (ClO2-) in treated drinking water, which is a byproduct of the oxidation of ClO2 during the disinfection process. In the UK, a guideline value of 0.2 mg/L for combined residual concentrations of chlorite and ClO2 in drinking water is set by the World Health Organization.
Despite these limits, chlorine dioxide is still widely used as a primary disinfectant in Europe and North America. It can also be used to reduce biofilm formation in cooling towers, and is useful in the removal of Legionella bacteria in these environments.
When used at the right levels, CDS can help to improve pumping efficiency in cooling towers and thereby increase production capacity. It can also be used to prevent and control biofilms in piping that could cause corrosion.
It can also be used to treat cooling water that is pumped into boilers and other industrial systems. It is effective against a variety of bacteria and fungi, including Legionella.
It can also be used to sterilize medical and laboratory equipment, as well as surfaces and tools. It has a number of advantages over MMS, such as less harmful byproducts and the ability to reduce the formation of hypobromous acid and bromate from bromide-containing water.