Commercial Hydrogen Peroxide Uses
An early market for hydrogen peroxide was its use for bleaching straw
hats, which were popular in the early 1900's.
Today there are many commercial and industrial peroxide uses. Here are some commercial uses (I’m sure there are many more):
Taxidermists use hydrogen peroxide to whiten or bleach animal skulls and bones
- Peroxide is used in making cheese.
- Hydrogen peroxide is used as a bleaching agent in the paper and pulp industry.
- Some fibers used for making fabric are also bleached with peroxide.
- Hydrogen peroxide is used in making aseptic packaging.
- Some commercial agriculture uses hydrogen peroxide -- including both in growing food crops and its used with animals that are raised to be food (chickens and cows, for example!)
- Hydrogen peroxide is a registered pesticide.
- For treating some diseases in fish (note that this must be done with carefully controlled amounts so as not to harm or kill the fish!)
- Teeth can be whitened with peroxide, which is sometimes done by dentists.
- Beauticians use hydrogen peroxide to bleach hair.
- Wastewater treatment and other water treatment operations use hydrogen peroxide, as a disinfectant, and to clean water.
- Companies and government agencies that specialize in decontamination of various kinds use hydrogen peroxide.
- Hydrogen peroxide is used in cleaning and etching printed circuit boards (for computers).
- Hydrogen peroxide is used in dechlorination -- removing chlorine from water.
Commercial Hydrogen Peroxide Uses for Making Consumer Products
There are many consumer products made with hydrogen peroxide or sodium percarbonate, including many kinds of cleaning products, laundry products,
contact lens solution,
mouthwash, and so on.
These products are used in homes, so in a way these are home uses of peroxide. But since companies are making, packaging, and labeling these products to sell, this is also a commercial undertaking.
Hydrogen peroxide is made into many kinds of consumer products. And there are more and more such products over time. Things like spot removers, laundry treatments, mouth washes, rinses, toothpaste, and wood cleaners.
Commercial Uses and Home Uses Sometimes Overlap
Some commercial products are used both in companies and homes. For example, peroxide is used in both home gardens and commercial agriculture, just at very different scales.
Products like peroxide-based mouthwash are made by companies, but you can also use hydrogen peroxide for this purpose without buying the product, just using hydrogen peroxide directly.
Other things -- like bleaching paper pulp and whitening teeth -- are NOT things that you are likely to use peroxide for on your own at home.
Want to Know More?
If you'd like some fascinating reading that sees hydrogen peroxide in a completely different (and MUCH bigger) light, may I recommend:
- Global Hydrogen Peroxide Market: Trends report. This is a page describing the global market for hydrogen peroxide, and its outlook going forward. It is a summary of the main industrial uses of hydrogen peroxide. Here's a brief excerpt: "The hydrogen peroxide market is primarily driven by its wide ranging
applications in three major industries: paper and pulp, electronics and
semiconductor, and agriculture. The soaring demand for H2O2 in the
pharmaceutical industry and for cleaning dental and surgical instruments
is stimulated by its characteristic of being an excellent disinfectant.
Extensive use of H2O2 in waste water treatment, municipal as well as
industrial, and increasing application as a soil disinfectant to improve
crop yield are the crucial factors expected to spur the demand for H2O2
in major regions." (emphasis added)
- Bleaching Agents Market by Type report. This page describes a report on the future outlook of the use of bleaching agents, including hydrogen peroxide. Here's a brief excerpt: "The hydrogen peroxide segment accounted for the largest share in 2018.
In the food & beverage processing industry, it is commonly used as a
peroxygen agent in products such as flour, bakery foods, natural
sugars, natural oils, waxes, gums, and starches. Hydrogen peroxide
primarily bleaches and purifies food products, which, in turn, helps in
improving the color of the food products. It also enhances the
shelf-life of the products by sterilizing aseptic packaging containers
in the food industry. Hydrogen peroxide is used as a bleaching agent in
instant tea, starch, lecithin, colored cheese, whey, beef feet, herring,
and in emulsifiers that contain fatty acid esters." (emphasis added)
Both of the pages above are advertisements, which hope to entice you to buy a longer report that's been prepared about the outlook of these markets.
Does this expand your thinking?
It really does expand mine!
This stuff takes my thinking about the scope and seriousness of what using hydrogen peroxide can include to very different places.
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