Peroxyacids (R-C(O)OOH), such as peracetic acid (PAA) and performic acid (PFA), are a group of emerging oxidants alternative to conventional chlorine, owing to their advantages of high disinfection capacity, limited toxic byproduct formation, and easy retrofit. Recent research has intensified the evaluation of peroxyacids as alternative disinfectants for pathogen inactivation in water and wastewater treatment. Moreover, activation of peroxyacids to generate reactive radicals is actively being explored to create novel advanced oxidation processes (AOPs) for organic micropollutant (OMP) abatement. The growing interests and utilization of peroxyacids in water treatment applications necessitate a better understanding of their chemical reaction kinetics and mechanisms. This presentation will highlight recent research efforts in this area from our lab at Georgia Tech. Examples include surveying the reactivity of peroxyacids toward various microorganisms and organic compounds, development of novel AOPs by activating peroxyacids with light irradiation or transition metals, and assessing the performance of these AOPs in real water samples. The underlying chemistry of peroxyacid-based oxidative systems are elucidated by complementary experimental, computational, and kinetic modeling approaches. Our research shows strong promise of peroxyacids and provides new knowledge and modeling tools useful for further development and optimization of peroxyacid-based processes for water treatment applications.
Prof. Ching-Hua Huang
Georgia Institute of Technology
Turnipseed Family Chair and Professor
School of Civil and Environmental Engineering