Potassium monopersulfate, also known as potassium peroxymonosulfate, is a salt made by combining potassium and peroxymonosulfuric acid. The chemical formula for this particular salt is 2KHSO5•KHSO4•K2SO4, and it is used as an oxidizing agent. This means that it can be a source of oxygen atoms in chemical reactions that require the presence of such an element. Potassium monopersulfate is generally marketed by DuPont as Oxone, and also by Evonik as Caroat.
Usage of Potassium Monopersulfate
As an oxidizing agent, potassium monopersulfate is used most when cleaning pools. It can also be used in the setting of spas for the same application. It can be used as an alternative to using chlorine when cleaning a pool or spa water. In fact, potassium monopersulfate has many advantages over chlorine for this purpose, and this is why it’s gaining popularity for doing this job. Apart from cleaning pools, the application of potassium monopersulfate in other areas of life is very sparse, but the fact that many people have pools makes this one of the most widely used oxidizing agents so far. One factor that contributes to this is that one doesn’t have to be especially skilled to handle it.
Mechanism of Action
In the context of cleaning pools, potassium monopersulfate acts mainly through oxidation. Many bacteria that live in water are usually sensitive to oxidation, and most of these are killed when you add an oxidizing agent to the water. This is the rationale for the use of potassium monopersulfate or chlorine in cleaning pools; both of them work using the same methods. Apart from bacteria, the oxidizing action of sodium monopersulfate can also be used to get rid of other substances such as pollen and other contaminants. This makes your pool water generally healthier to swim in.
Recommendations for Use
When used to clean a pool, it’s recommended to follow a certain protocol. Deviating from this is likely to result in either too much toxicity in the pool, or inadequate neutralization of contaminants. Normally when one buys potassium monopersulfate, they will find that the instructions for use will be clearly displayed on the product. Generally speaking, though, one needs to use one pound of the product per 10,000 gallons of water in the pool. This is generally the prescribed dosage for ordinary domestic pools; in the case of a public pool it may be prudent to up the dose a bit. This is due to the increased contamination of water in such an environment.
After you have placed the product in the water, it’s essential that you leave it for a while before you can start swimming. The reason for this is so as to give the powder time to mix evenly with the water and therefore exert its effect. It’s also generally advised that you add the product to such water when the filters are running to enhance this effect.
Benefits of Potassium Monopersulfate
In the use of potassium monopersulfate to clean pools, there are several advantages over the use of chlorine, which has been traditionally used for this purpose. The first of these is that potassium monopersulfate can be used at any time, whether it’s daytime or night time. When you use chlorine for cleaning a pool, you would need to do it when there’s adequate sunlight as the product needs to be converted into reactive oxygen species such as hypochlorite in order for it to work. Potassium monopersulfate doesn’t need this reaction.
Apart from that, potassium monopersulfate can be used in the cleaning of various other facilities in addition to pools. For instance, you can easily use it in spas and bathtubs as well. Chlorine may not be very easy to use in such environments, as you may need to take some special considerations such as when using it to clean spas and steam baths. As an alternative, therefore, potassium monopersulfate is much easier to use and offers the same results as chlorine, making it the ideal pool cleaning chemical.
An important advantage of potassium monopersulfate with regard to pool cleaning is that it does not cause any irritation. Products such as chlorine normally produce chemicals that can irritate mucous membranes of the eyes and nose, and this is why people who have just finished swimming in such pools may end up having red eyes.