Industrial uses of hydrogen peroxide


Hydrogen peroxide is a chemical compound represented by the formula H2O2. It appears as a colorless liquid thicker than water’s normal consistency. Based on its molecular structure, this compound is produced by the combination of hydrogen and oxygen molecules, as well as water and oxygen.

Hydrogen peroxide

This compound can oxidize microorganisms that cause infections due to the presence of oxygen molecules in its composition; therefore, it is considered a powerful oxidizer in the market, making it the best option for a highly effective disinfectant, antiseptic, and natural sanitizer.

It is a potent oxidizer in large amounts, and it is used by the chemical industry to manufacture detergents used to clean laundry and other equipment, as well as purify water, bleach paper, pulp, and textiles.

The demand for bulk hydrogen peroxide in the chemical industry is elevated; the world’s annual production of this compound goes up to 3.8 million tons. As a raw material, this product is usually commercialized by the industry in an aqueous solution containing 3 percent of hydrogen peroxide with other chemicals typically added for the end product; however, hydrogen peroxide can also be purchased in pure form for more involved production purposes.

Different grades mean different purposes

This natural chemical liquid is used for food grade, household use, or electrical usage, depending on the mixture of concentrations. Regardless of its form, hydrogen peroxide is simply a combination of water, hydrogen, and oxygen and is a very reactive chemical, which is why it can be used in many different ways.

Hydrogen Peroxide and the Food Industry, h2o2

Hydrogen peroxide can typically be purchased in bulk in different grades depending on the purposes. The most common uses are the following:

  • 3% Pharmaceutical Grade: This is usually used for cleaning wounds and injuries and as a disinfectant.
  • 6% Beautician Grade: It is impure and typically used in salons or beauty shops as a hair colorant.
  • 30% Percent Reagent Grade: This is the concentration used in laboratories for scientific experiments.
  • 30% to 32% Electronic Grade: For cleaning electronic parts and equipment.
  • 34% Technical Grade: It is the stronger version of the reagent grade with a higher concentration of hydrogen peroxide. Besides that, the only difference is the use of phosphorous to aid the neutralization of chlorine from the water that is used to dilute the solution.
  • 34% Food Grade: It is the only grade the Food and Drug Administration permits for internal use. It is used for producing varieties of food such as eggs, cheese, and any whey–containing goods. In aseptic packaging (no contamination from harmful microorganisms and bacteria), this hydrogen peroxide solution is sprayed onto the foil-lined materials in juice boxes and milk packaging.
  • 90%: It is the highest concentration available, used as a source of oxygen in rocket fuels.

Industrial applications

  • Approximately three-fifths of the hydrogen peroxide produced in the world is applied to the bleaching of the pulp and paper industry.
  • The second most important industrial application of hydrogen peroxide is in the production of the mild bleaches present in laundry detergents.
  • It is also used in polymerization, for bleaching flour, and as an acne treatment method.
  • Hydrogen peroxide is used in the process of water treatment to get rid of organic contaminants and impurities through the processes of advanced oxidation. This can also help in the reduction of odors.

Agricultural Application

  • Spontaneous decomposition of a weak hydrogen peroxide solution leads to oxygen release that boosts plant roots’ development. It also assists in the treatment of root rot resulting from insufficient oxygen in the roots.

Medical application

  • Hydrogen peroxide is regarded as an environmentally friendly alternative to chlorine-based bleaches. It can be effectively applied on various surfaces for thorough disinfection. It is a recognized, FDA-approved antimicrobial agent that is generally recognized as safe.
  • It has been used as a wound disinfectant from the beginning of its industrial production due to its low cost and ready availability in comparison to other antiseptics. A single application at a very low concentration is sufficient.

Cosmetic applications

  • In dilutions ranging from 8% to 3%, it can be used to bleach human hair when mixed with ammonium hydroxide.
  • It is also commonly applied as a tool for teeth whitening in dentistry and can even be combined with salt and baking soda to come up with simple homemade toothpaste.
  • Hydrogen peroxide is sometimes used in the treatment of acne.

Alternative medicine

  • Medicine practitioners have come out in favor of the use of hydrogen peroxide for treating a vast variety of conditions, including influenza, emphysema, and even HIV/AIDS. It has also reportedly been used in the treatment of certain cancers. In this case, hydrogen peroxide is consumed orally or administered by injection.

Other applications

  • As a propellant in the propulsion system of rockets.
  • In creating explosives based on organic peroxides, for instance, acetone peroxide, for IED (Improvised Explosive Device) applications.
  • In domestic settings, hydrogen peroxide can be used as both a disinfectant and a cleaning agent.
  • It reacts with other compounds to generate the light in glow sticks.


Hydrogen peroxide is available at Lab Alley. It is inexpensive, versatile, and effective.

Generally speaking, hydrogen peroxide is a very commonly used household disinfectant worldwide. It is manufactured, stored, and shipped in variable quantities, including bulk drums and pallet loads. Hydrogen peroxide is an environmentally clean chemical and a sound approach to clean bleaching of paper pulp and cleaning of hydroponics and water garden waters, aquaculture, and other industries mentioned above.

It is worth noting that hydrogen peroxide is caustic at higher concentrations.

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