In beverage and dairy industries, hydrogen peroxide is commonly used as in aseptic packaging process.
It is used as a disinfectant to kill germs, bacteria, and viruses from packaging before food product filled into it.
The lower limit of food grade hydrogen peroxide concentration used for this purpose depends on the aseptic packaging machine.
But, in general, most machines require 30% as the lower limit.
Consequently, hydrogen peroxide – in the machine and or still in packaging – which is lower than 30% has to be disposed of because cannot be used again in the machine.
Then, the question is, how to dispose of 35% hydrogen peroxide while still keeping wastewater standard quality?
35% Hydrogen Peroxide Specification
All hydrogen peroxide that is used in food production has to meet the specification of FCC 21CFR 178.1005(c) and 21 CFR 184.1366(b).
The table below shows 35% food grade hydrogen peroxide specification by Food Chemical Codex:
|Acidity (as H2SO4), ppm||Max||300|
|Arsenic (As), ppm||Max||3|
|Heavy Metals (as Pb), ppm||Max||10|
|Iron (Fe), ppm||Max||0.5|
|Phosphate (PO4), ppm||Max||50|
|Dry Residue, ppm||Max||60|
|Tin (Sn), ppm||Max||10|
Some countries like Japan have their own standards; Japan refers to Japanese Food Law. Others follow US Food Chemical Codex or Japan Food Law.
The food grade hydrogen peroxide is marketed in several kinds of packaging; Polyethylene Can, Intermediate Bulk Container or bulk container.
But, most common packaging type is Polyethylene Can or PE Can, where each PE Can contain 25-30 kg.
Selection of packaging type will also affect how you can dispose of used 35% hydrogen peroxide.
How to Dispose of 35 Hydrogen Peroxide
Prior to the disposal of 35% hydrogen peroxide, there are several things that you have to answer:
- how many percents is the hydrogen peroxide concentration to be disposed of? The lower hydrogen peroxide concentration the easier.
- what are the packaging type and size? Smaller packaging needs different treatment compared with a bigger one.
- how much is the hydrogen peroxide volume? Less volume is easier.
- what is the wastewater quality parameter limit? Refer to your local wastewater regulation.
- how much is the available wastewater pond? If you have a big enough wastewater pond for used hydrogen peroxide, that’s better.
Answer those questions and write them down to make it easy for you to choose the best disposal method and expense lowest cost.
How to Dispose of 35% Hydrogen Peroxide Procedure
There are several safe hydrogen peroxide disposal procedures you can choose. Again, this will depend on your answer to the above questions.
Let me explain the procedure one by one.
- dilution method: just add water to dilute the hydrogen peroxide until reaching the allowable concentration limit. This method is suitable when you have a small amount of used hydrogen peroxide and you have small size wastewater pond.
- decomposition method: naturally, hydrogen peroxide decomposes into water and oxygen gas at the rate of 1% per year under normal condition. We can increase the rate by altering the condition; uses catalyst or alkaline. Take care if you will use this method since the decomposition reaction produces heat too. I suggest you consult with your supplier if you will choose this method.
- reuse method: this is the best way how to dispose of 35% hydrogen peroxide. No waste generation will be. If you can use the used hydrogen peroxide for wastewater treatment (suppose to decrease H2S), choose this method.
- handover to your supplier: perhaps your supplier can help you handling your used hydrogen peroxide. The manufacturer is very experienced in dealing with used hydrogen peroxide. If this method is available in your country, why not.
- use third-party service: this method is the simplest one, but costly. But, make sure you use third-party service that has a legal license from a local authority.
Used Hydrogen Peroxide Container Treatment
Packaging used for hydrogen peroxide is categorized as a hazardous waste too. So, you have to treat it in the same way as you deal with used hydrogen peroxide.
In a certain country, washing used packaging with water can neglect the necessity of this treatment as long as you can prove there is no remaining hazardous material left inside the packaging.
Then, you must treat the wastewater resulted from the washing process in the same way as wastewater before discharging.