Peracetic acid degradation in freshwater aquaculture systems and possible practical implications

Lars-Flemming Pedersen, Thomas Meinelt, David L. Straus

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal articleResearchpeer-review


Peracetic acid (PAA) is a highly reactive peroxygen compound with wide-ranging antimicrobial effects and is considered an alternative sanitizer to formaldehyde. Products containing PAA are available in solution with acetic acid and hydrogen peroxide to maintain the stability of the chemical, and it decays rapidly when applied to freshwater in aquaculture systems. The rapid decay is beneficial in an environmental context but a challenge to aquaculturists. To assess the impact of organic matter content and temperature on PAA decay, twenty-four batch experiments were set up using PAA doses ranging from 0 to 2.0 mg/l. The results revealed that increasing organic matter content significantly facilitated PAA
decay, and positive temperature-decay correlations were found. Instantaneous PAA consumption above 0.2 mg/l was observed, and PAA half-lives were found to be in the order of a few minutes. The relative PAA recovery, calculated as measured PAA concentration over time compared to the PAA concentration
applied, decreased with declining dose. Measurements of PAA residuals during water treatment scenarios at three different freshwater fish farms revealed moderate to substantial PAA consumption, documenting a large discrepancy between delivered quantities and realized residuals. Recent investigations of PAA
application to manage parasitic diseases in aquaculture are briefly reviewed, and practical implication and guidelines are addressed
Original languageEnglish
JournalAquacultural Engineering
Pages (from-to)65-71
Publication statusPublished - 2013


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