Fenton's Reagent

Hydrogen peroxide, which can be delivered at depth using lance permeation or soil mixing techniques or injected water amendments, is an effective oxidizing agent. However, to achieve the desired contaminant reductions in a reasonable time, a metal catalyst is often required. Iron is most commonly used, and, when mixed with hydrogen peroxide, the catalyst is known as Fentonís reagent.

The process is well documented for producing hydroxyl radicals by the reaction of hydrogen peroxide and ferrous iron (Fe+2 ). The hydroxyl radicals (OHC) serve as very powerful, effective, and nonspecific oxidizing agents, second only to fluorine in oxidizing power. Many reactions occur during the oxidation of a contaminant, and either ferrous or ferric iron can react with the peroxide to produce oxidizing radicals. The usefulness of Fentonís reagent may be limited by low soil permeability, incomplete site delineation, subsurface heterogeneities, and highly alkaline soils where carbonate ions are free radical (hydroxyl) scavengers.



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