Removal of Hydrogen Sulfide in Drinking Waters with Hydrogen Peroxide
The presence of hydrogen sulfide is a common problem encountered in the field of water supply. This chemical imparts to the water unpalatable taste and odor, in addition to corrosive properties. The hydrogen sulfide problem is of major importance in New Mexico where it has caused many wells to be abandoned.
Hydrogen peroxide is a non-polluting, relatively inexpensive oxidizing agent, which has shown promise as a solution to the hydrogen sulfide problem. For this reason, the New Mexico Environmental Improvement Division (EID) has authorized the study of hydrogen peroxide as a potential oxidant for the removal of hydrogen sulfide from water supplies. The research presented in this paper demonstrates the technical feasibility of using hydrogen peroxide to remove hydrogen sulfide from drinking water supplies.
Favorable removal of hydrogen sulfide was obtained during the ongoing field implementation of hydrogen peroxide in the distribution system at Madrid, New Mexico (pop. 89). The removal efficiencies of 95 percent and higher obtained during these field studies demonstrate that the oxidation of hydrogen sulfide with hydrogen peroxide is a plausible solution to the taste and odor problems in rural communities’ distribution systems. Treatment costs for typical rural facilities vary between 19 and 64 cents per thousand gallons, depending on the water storage capacity available on site. Design procedures and criteria for these facilities are also presented.
Keywords: Hydrogen sulfide, drinking waters, hydrogen peroxide, treatment, rural facilities