Potassium permanganate is a powerful oxidant highly reactive to certain metals and combustible materials. It can burn and irritate skin and must be handled with gloves and a respirator.
Potassium permanganate treats iron bacteria in water wells at a concentration of 3.8–7.6 grams per gallon. It is injected into the water, and continuous agitation helps to loosen sediment and organic material, improving treatment effectiveness.
Treatment of Iron Bacteria
Iron bacteria cause a metallic taste and brown water in many private wells. It can be treated by adding a polyphosphate (a blend of phosphoric acid and other compounds that surround iron and keep it from reacting with oxygen) and then using potassium permanganate to oxidize the dissolved iron into solid particles filtered out of the water. Potassium Permanganate For Water Treatment and Remediation is effective, but an excellent annual water test should be done to determine naturally occurring levels and any contamination from human activity.
Potassium permanganate also effectively removes hydrogen sulfide gas in water, which has a foul, rotten egg odor. It also oxidizes a wide range of organic compounds to control taste and smell, kill zebra mussels and other organisms, and reduce iron and manganese in water.
It is a strong oxidant used in drinking Potassium Permanganate For Water Treatment and Remediation to oxidize hydrogen sulfide and arsenic and improve taste and odor. It can also be used in wastewater and sludge treatment to control toxic pollutants, degrease, and improve sludge dewatering.
Treatment of Taste and Odor
Potassium permanganate oxidizes organic matter to reduce drinking water’s unpleasant taste and odor. It also corrodes the organic compounds that form harmful byproducts when treated with other disinfectants, such as chlorine. This pre-oxidation is often the first step in water treatment to make it safe for chlorination.
Hepure offers a pre-mixed solution of potassium permanganate that saves on-site time and storage space. This reagent is stored as dark purple crystals with a metallic sheen and has a sweetish, astringent taste with no odor. It is soluble in water, and its vapors are toxic, irritating to the respiratory tract and eyes, and potentially fatal if swallowed. Use gloves, face shields, and safety goggles when handling potassium permanganate.
Potassium permanganate oxidizes iron, manganese, and hydrogen sulfide in water to particles that are then filtered with a multimedia filter, typically an 8-inch layer of manganese-coated aluminum silicate above manganese-treated green sand or anthracite above manganese-treated green sand. It also controls odors in water by pre-oxidation and coupled treatment with granular activated carbon. Bench and pilot experiments have compared the effectiveness of various oxidants in controlling odors, including potassium permanganate and chlorine dioxide. Still, they are less effective than ozone, which is highly efficient at killing pathogens and odor-causing compounds.
Treatment of Iron and Manganese
Iron and manganese are common problems in household drinking water. When present in high amounts, they can cause orange-brown or dense black stains on fixtures and laundry. They also contribute to unpleasant taste, odor, and other water quality problems. The primary drinking water standards are 0.3 mg/L for iron and 0.05 mg/L for manganese.
Potassium permanganate, a powerful oxidizing agent, treats iron and manganese problems in home water. It is dosed into the water to oxidize the metals and cause them to precipitate from the solution. Iron is converted from a ferrous (two plus electrons) state to a ferric state, and manganese from a manganese dioxide state to a manganese dioxide state.
These precipitates are then filtered out of the water by an oxidizing filter commonly paired with a zeolite or manufactured manganese greens and resin bed system. Permanganate is a skin, eye, and lung irritant, so proper precautions must be taken.
Treatment of Organic Matter
Potassium permanganate is a potent oxidizing agent used for its ability to oxidize organic compounds. It removes hydrogen sulfide (the foul rotten-egg odor) from drinking water. It can also control the taste and smell of drinking water by oxidizing compounds that cause these problems. It is also an alternate pre-oxidant for disinfection byproduct (THMs and HAAs) control in industrial wastewater treatment.
Water treatment specialists determine the appropriate concentration of potassium permanganate solution to be injected at the point where water enters the treatment plant. The injection point is usually well away from the water filters to allow an adequate potassium permanganate reaction time.
Potassium permanganate is available as tablets that can be dissolved in water to treat drinking water. The tablets are sometimes sold at garden and camping supply stores or online. KMnO4 is also a medical preparation for topical use in treating impetigo, dermatitis, and wounds. A diluted solution of KMnO4 can be applied to the skin as a soak in a clean, dry wound.