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Frontiers of Environmental Science & Engineering

Front. Environ. Sci. Eng.    2020, Vol. 14 Issue (5) : 87
A review of measurement methods for peracetic acid (PAA)
Chen Cheng1, Haodong Li1, Jinling Wang1,2, Hualin Wang1,2, Xuejing Yang1,2()
1. National Engineering Laboratory for Industrial Wastewater Treatment, East China University of Science and Technology (ECUST), Shanghai 200237, China
2. State Key Laboratory of Chemical Engineering, ECUST, Shanghai 200237, China
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• Physical and chemical properties and application of peracetic acid solution.

• Determination method of high concentration peracetic acid.

• Determination method of residual peracetic acid (low concentration).

Peroxyacetic acid has been widely used in food, medical, and synthetic chemical fields for the past several decades. Recently, peroxyacetic acid has gradually become an effective alternative disinfectant in wastewater disinfection and has strong redox capacity for removing micro-pollutants from drinking water. However, commercial peroxyacetic acid solutions are primarily multi-component mixtures of peroxyacetic acid, acetic acid, hydrogen peroxide, and water. During the process of water treatment, peroxyacetic acid and hydrogen peroxide (H2O2) often coexist, which limits further investigation on the properties of peroxyacetic acid. Therefore, analytical methods need to achieve a certain level of selectivity, particularly when peroxyacetic acid and hydrogen peroxide coexist. This review summarizes the measurement and detection methods of peroxyacetic acid, comparing the principle, adaptability, and relative merits of these methods.

Keywords Peroxyacetic acid      Measurement methods      Titration      Colorimetric      Chromatography      NMR     
This article is part of themed collection: Accounts of Aquatic Chemistry and Technology Research (Responsible Editors: Jinyong Liu, Haoran Wei & Yin Wang)
Corresponding Author(s): Xuejing Yang   
Issue Date: 11 August 2020
 Cite this article:   
Chen Cheng,Haodong Li,Jinling Wang, et al. A review of measurement methods for peracetic acid (PAA)[J]. Front. Environ. Sci. Eng., 2020, 14(5): 87.
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Chen Cheng
Haodong Li
Jinling Wang
Hualin Wang
Xuejing Yang
Fig.1  Peracetic acid structural formula (a) and chemical bonds and intramolecular hydrogen bond structures (b).
Fig.5  DPD-PAA oxidation products.
Fig.6  CHEMetric I2020 Unit Analyzer.
Fig.7  Different concentrations of H2O2 (PAA concentration maintained at 0.041 mmol/L) were added to a 0.05 mol/L acetate buffer solution (pH 5.4) containing 10.0 mmol/L I and 0.010 mmol/L I3, indicating the potential change of the electrode. (a) 0.012 mmol/L, (b) 2.7 mmol/L, and (c) 6.8 mmol/L (H2O2), respectively (Awad and Ohsaka, (2003), Reprint with permission copyright by Clearance Center’s RightsLink® service).
Fig.8  Structure of the ProMinentDulcoTest® CTE Probe Detector.
Method Basic Mechanisms Detection Range Considerations Equipment Required
Titration Redox titration: based on electron transfer reaction between an oxidizing and a reducing agent in a solution 5% – 15%(wt.%) 1. High accuracy of measurement results;
2. Unable to detect low concentration PAA solution;
3. Not recommended for the determination of residual low concentration PAA;
4. All the reagents should be freshly prepared and well calibrated;
5. The analyte is not suitable for long-term storage.
Conventional chemical analysis instruments
NMR Nuclear spin motion / 1. High equipment cost;
2. Complicated operation;
3. Not used quantitatively.
Nuclear magnetic Resonance Spectrometer
Chromatography Derivatization chromatography test 0.1–10 mg/L 1. Low detection limits;
2. Long storage time for derivatization samples;
3. Requires secondary reaction operation.
Gas chromatography or liquid chromatograph
Colorimetric methods Color reaction based on Tringer, ABTS or DPD 0.1–10 mg/L 1. Low detection limits;
2. Hydrogen peroxide may reduce the accuracy of detection;
3. Requires secondary reaction operation.
UV spectrophotometer
Online Detector and Quick Measurement Devices Electrochemical potential analysis 0.25–5 mg/L 1. Simple, efficient, and fast testing;
2. Low detection limits;
A variety of commercial testing products are available for selection: CHEMetric I-2020 unit analyzer (SAM), DULCOTEST® Sensors Peracetate Probe etc.
Tab.1  Summary of PAA measurement methods
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