Perchlorate, Bromate and Chlorate in Hypochlorite Solutions

Authors:

  • Ben Stanford, Aleksey Pisarenko, Shane Snyder, and Gilbert Gordon

Hypochlorite solutions contain oxyhalide species such as perchlorate, chlorate, and bromate that form during and after manufacture.

Such oxyhalide species have the potential to contaminate finished drinking water if adequate control measures are not taken to minimize their formation during manufacture, shipment, and storage of hypochlorite solutions.

This manuscript presents a description for the rate of formation of perchlorate in hypochlorite solutions and discusses the chemistry behind a series of control strategies for utilities and manufacturers to minimize oxyhalide formation and introduction into drinking water. Factors impacting the formation of perchlorate include temperature, ionic strength, concentration of hypochlorite, and the presence of transition metal ions.

Our study concludes that under proper manufacture, storage conditions, and handling, perchlorate, chlorate, and bromate formation can be minimized. However, if care is not taken during manufacture and storage of hypochlorite solutions, perchlorate, chlorate, and bromate levels can exceed health-based guidelines in drinking water.

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