(19)
(11)EP 2 842 423 B1

(12)EUROPEAN PATENT SPECIFICATION

(45)Mention of the grant of the patent:
18.07.2018 Bulletin 2018/29

(21)Application number: 14185786.2

(22)Date of filing:  24.03.2011
(51)Int. Cl.: 
A01N 37/16  (2006.01)
A61K 31/075  (2006.01)
A61L 2/18  (2006.01)
A01P 1/00  (2006.01)
A01N 25/00  (2006.01)
A61L 9/00  (2006.01)
A61K 31/327  (2006.01)

(54)

METHOD FOR THE GENERATION OF PERACETIC ACID ON SITE AT THE POINT-OF-USE.

VERFAHREN ZUR ERZEUGUNG VON PERESSIGSÄURE DIREKT AM VERWENDUNGSORT

PROCÉDÉ POUR LA GÉNÉRATION D'ACIDE PERACÉTIQUE SUR SITE AU NIVEAU DU POINT D'UTILISATION


(84)Designated Contracting States:
AL AT BE BG CH CY CZ DE DK EE ES FI FR GB GR HR HU IE IS IT LI LT LU LV MC MK MT NL NO PL PT RO RS SE SI SK SM TR

(43)Date of publication of application:
04.03.2015 Bulletin 2015/10

(62)Application number of the earlier application in accordance with Art. 76 EPC:
11861339.7 / 2688399

(73)Proprietor: Enviro Tech Chemical Services Inc.
Modesto, CA 95358 (US)

(72)Inventors:
  • Harvey, Michael S.
    Modesto, CA 95358 (US)
  • Howarth, Jonathan N.
    Modesto, CA 95356 (US)

(74)Representative: Tomkinson, Alexandra 
Bailey Walsh & Co LLP 1 York Place
Leeds, LS1 2DR
Leeds, LS1 2DR (GB)


(56)References cited: : 
EP-A1- 1 618 786
JP-A- 2004 230 323
US-B1- 6 221 341
WO-A1-01/46519
US-A1- 2010 227 000
  
      
    Note: Within nine months from the publication of the mention of the grant of the European patent, any person may give notice to the European Patent Office of opposition to the European patent granted. Notice of opposition shall be filed in a written reasoned statement. It shall not be deemed to have been filed until the opposition fee has been paid. (Art. 99(1) European Patent Convention).


    Description

    FIELD OF THE INVENITON



    [0001] The invention relates to a method for the generation of a peroxyacetic acid sanitizer on site in proximity to the point-of-use.

    BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION


    A. Liquid PAA Disinfectants and Sanitizers



    [0002] Disinfectants and sanitizers based on peroxyacetic acid (PAA), also commonly known as peracetic acid, are used in the dairy, food and beverage processing industries for clean-in-place pipeline and equipment disinfecting and cleaning, for fruit and vegetable washing, and in the treatment of meat, poultry and seafood products. Peroxyacetic acid disinfectants are also used in the treatment of cooling water, process water, and municipal wastewater. Other uses include slime and biofilm removal in papermaking processes.

    [0003] Peroxyacetic acid products are supplied as stable equilibrium ternary aqueous solutions of peroxyacetic acid, acetic acid, and hydrogen peroxide. They are prepared in advance of delivery, typically by reacting hydrogen peroxide with acetic acid in the presence of a mineral acid catalyst. Although some PAA is formed immediately, the PAA does not reach its maximum concentration until after several days. A metal chelating agent, such as hydroxyethylidene diphosphonic acid (HEDP) or dipicolinic acid, is also introduced to suppress the transition metal cation catalyzed decomposition of peroxygen compounds. The PAA product is then placed in containers, such as totes, drums and pails, in preparation for shipment to the end user. Typical commercial products have concentrations of PAA of about 1-15% w/w, although a concentration of up to 30% is possible. However, the latter concentration product only finds captive use because of its extremely hazardous and explosive properties.

    [0004] There are several problems with the use of equilibrium solutions of PAA. First, the low concentration of PAA (1-15%) means that most of the weight (85-99%) of the products consist of substantial amounts of inert ingredients, such as water, acetic acid, and hydrogen peroxide. This results in the need for larger product storage areas and causes increased transportation and handling costs. Second, the products are inefficient in the use of both hydrogen peroxide (hydrogen peroxide) and acetic acid (AA). To maintain adequate storage stability of the PAA, either hydrogen peroxide or AA must be present at a level on a weight percentage basis that is greater than the level of PAA, which increases raw material costs. Third, the presence of the HEDP or dipicolinic acid stabilizer limits the amount of PAA that can be applied to certain foodstuffs because the amount of HEDP or dipicolinic acid is regulated by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA). Fourth, the reaction between hydrogen peroxide and AA is quite slow in some cases, and typically requires several days' time before the PAA product can be tested for quality confirmation. Therefore, manufacturers of these products must store large inventories of the PAA product before it can be shipped to the end user. Fifth, for transportation purposes, equilibrium solutions that are greater than 6% PAA are considered to be dangerous products and must be labeled with the DOT marking "Organic Peroxide", Hazard Class 5.2, 8 (oxidizer, corrosive). If producers and end-users exceed the yearly threshold amount of just 6,666 lbs. of 15% PAA, they must file Risk Management Plans with both federal EPA and state authorities. This is an arduous and time-consuming process. In addition, producers of equilibrium solutions of PAA that are over 6% PAA must obtain permitting by the local fire department and pay an extra hazardous material shipping fee when the product is shipped from their facility. On the other hand, there are much less stringent requirements for products that contain hydrogen peroxide, and all reporting, permitting and shipping restrictions are lifted for products that contain less than 27% hydrogen peroxide.

    [0005] As a result of these problems, there have been various attempts to make non-equilibrium solutions of PAA on site, at the point-of-use. For example, U.S. patent no. 7,012,154 discloses a system in which AA, hydrogen peroxide, water, and sulfuric acid are fed to a jacketed reactor for the production of PAA. A wiped-film distillation column attached to the reactor condenses and isolates the pure PAA from the gas phase and immediately introduces it to the receiving water. This system suffers from a number of drawbacks. First, it is extremely capital intensive due to the high cost of the equipment, including the reactor, heater, pumps, distillation column, and computerized control system which ensures accurate metering of the reagents. Second, there are significant safety hazards associated with the production of pure PAA due to its explosive properties. Third, the equipment and synthesis process is very complex and requires knowledgeable and highly trained technicians to continuously operate and maintain the system in a safe and effective manner.

    [0006] Other attempts to make non-equilibrium solutions of PAA at the point-of-use are based on electrolytic processes. U.S. patent nos. 6,171,551 and 6,387,236 disclose processes that employ a cell divided by an ion-exchange membrane in which PAA (and other oxidants including hydrogen peroxide and ozone) are produced in the anode compartment which consists of an aqueous solution of acetic acid or acetate salt. In addition to the high costs of electricity and electrolysis equipment, these processes also result in a very low yield of PAA from the acetyl precursor. For example, the '551 patent reports that less than 14 ppm of PAA was produced after 90 minutes of electrolysis of a 490,000 ppm anolyte of aqueous potassium acetate. In addition, these processes are difficult to perform intermittently.

    [0007] Other methods of generating non-equilibrium solutions of PAA on site, using electrolysis, are described in WIPO International Publication Nos. WO 2004/0245116 and WO 2008/140988 , and U.S. Patent Application Publication No. 2009/0314652 . These references disclose cation membrane-divided electrolysis cells and the use of gas diffusion electrodes to effect the cathodic reduction of oxygen gas to hydrogen peroxide under alkaline conditions. The hydrogen peroxide was then allowed to react with acetic acid or an acetyl precursor to form PAA in the bulk solution, whereupon the catholyte was directed to the acidic anode compartment of the cell to stabilize the PAA. This system suffers from several disadvantages. Due to the low solubility of oxygen in water 8 ppm maximum), the concentration of electroactive species is very low, which forces the cell to operate at low current density (amperage per surface area of electrode). In order to produce a meaningful amount of hydrogen peroxide, the cells must have a very large surface area. This requires high capital equipment costs and a very large footprint for the electrolysis equipment. Another disadvantage of this system is that it is very difficult to maintain steady-state conditions and simultaneously balance the feed of acetic acid or acetyl precursor to the cathode compartment with the concurrent withdrawal of acidified PAA solution from the anode compartment. This is because cations carrying the cell current through the cation exchange membrane are always hydrated so as the cations move through the membrane, they are accompanied by water molecules. As a result, the volume of the anolyte decreases and the volume of the catholyte increases, making the steady-state condition difficult to maintain. It is difficult to perform this process intermittently. Finally, this system can only be of economic value if the source of oxygen is air, which comprises 23% oxygen. However, the carbon dioxide contained in air causes carbonates to precipitate, which impedes the flow of electrical current, limiting or eliminating the production of hydrogen peroxide, and hence, PAA.

    [0008] Another method of making a non-equilibrium solution of PAA at the point-of-use is disclosed in WIPO International Publication No. WO 2008/140988 and U.S. Patent Application Publication Nos. 2009/0005590 and 2007/0082832, These references disclose biosynthetic methods of producing peracids from carboxylic acids and carboxylic acid esters. These methods involve the use of perhydrolase enzymes to catalyze the perhydrolysis of the carboxylic acid or ester into the peracid using a solid or liquid source of hydrogen peroxide. Although these methods can produce compositions containing up to 20 parts of peracid to one part of hydrogen peroxide, they are limited by the amount of peracid that can be produced before the perhydrolase enzyme is oxidized by the reactant products and ceases to function as intended. The highest concentration of peracid disclosed by these references was 0.16% (1,600 mg/L). However, peracid or PAA solutions that are produced with enzymes have limited appeal because they are very expensive to produce, and for regulatory reasons, the enzyme must be removed from the solution before the solution can be applied to food or hard surfaces for disinfection purposes. Removing the enzyme from the solution is not an easy task; thus, it is typically not done. Therefore, PAA solutions prepared by enzymatic methods are not suitable for the more broad commercial uses in the food, dairy, beverage, meat, and poultry industries, which are regulated by the FDA and the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).

    [0009] Another method of generating non-equilibrium PAA at its point-of-use requires substituting the traditional mineral acid catalyst with sulfonic acid ion-exchange resins, as disclosed in U.S. patent no. 5,122,538 . A solution containing a 1.5:1 mole ratio of AA to hydrogen peroxide was passed through a column packed with a sulfonic acid ion-exchange resin and produced a solution of 15% PAA within 30 minutes. The method described in the '538 patent suffers from the limitation that it requires a large volume of expensive resin bed in order to be effective. Moreover, all existing ion exchange resin systems are limited by the fact the resin is subject to oxidative degradation by PAA and have a short limited lifespan.

    [0010] Other attempts to produce non-equilibrium PAA solutions on site, at the point-of-use, for bleaching cellulosic materials have reacted hydrogen peroxide with acetic anhydride. For example, U.S. patent no. 3,432,546 discloses a process where hydrogen peroxide, acetic anhydride, and an ammonium hydroxide catalyst were metered to a tubular reactor to continuously produce a solution containing 3.25% PAA with a conversion of 78% hydrogen peroxide. However, the process generated measurable amounts of diacetyl peroxide (0.44%) which is an explosion hazard. Moreover, the reaction product would be unsuited for any application other than cellulosic bleaching purposes because there was no attempt to remove the ammonium hydroxide catalyst from the reaction medium. Ammonium hydroxide is an undesirable contaminant in PAA products that are used as disinfectants and sanitizers in the dairy, food, and beverage processing industries, and in PAA products used in fruit and vegetable washing and in the treatment of meat, poultry, and seafood.

    [0011] Another process for generating non-equilibrium solutions of PAA on site, at the point-of-use was disclosed in U.S. Patent Application Publication No. 2009/0043132 . This process utilized introduction of hydrogen peroxide into a sidestream of the water requiring treatment. This was followed by introducing acetic anhydride, whereupon PAA was generated in-situ. It was found that acetic anhydride preferentially reacted with hydrogen peroxide rather than undergo undesirable hydrolysis with water. Within 20 minutes, up to 3000 ppm of PAA was generated in the sidestream which was then reconstituted with the main body of water and diluted further. All processes that employ acetic anhydride suffer the limitation that acetic anhydride is expensive, very corrosive, an irritant, and highly flammable.

    [0012] Yet another process for generating non-equilibrium solutions of PAA on site at the point-of-use is disclosed in WIPO International Publication No. WO 01/46519 A1.This process utilized the metering of an aqueous solution of hydrogen peroxide into an agitated tank and co-metering a solid dry source of tetraacetylethylenediamine (TAED) from a storage hopper using a screw feeder. The agitator kept the solid TAED suspended in the hydrogen peroxide solution which was then fed to an in-line static mixer where aqueous sodium hydroxide was introduced. The mixture was then directed through 200 meters of coiled tubing immersed in a cooling tank so that the temperature rise accompanying the exothermic reaction was contained. Upon exiting the coiled tubing, the mixture containing PAA could be directed to the water requiring treatment. Disadvantages of this approach include the difficulty of accurately metering a solid and a liquid simultaneously, and the high capital equipment cost of the metering system, electronic controllers, agitation tank, coiled tubular reactor, and the cooling system.

    [0013] Thus, there is a need for a method to make non-equilibrium PAA on site at the point-of-use that addresses the above problems.

    B. Solid PAA Bleaches and Stain Removers



    [0014] PAA is also used in laundry bleaching applications where it is generated in-situ in the laundry wash water. The PAA is typically produced from a solid source of hydrogen peroxide, such as sodium percarbonate or sodium perborate. The hydrogen peroxide must be in the presence of a solid acetyl precursor, most typically, tetraacetylethylenediamine (TAED). When dissolved in laundry wash water, the TAED undergoes a perhydrolysis reaction with hydrogen peroxide to form PAA. TAED is the preferred acetyl precursor because it possesses low toxicity, is of low environmental impact, and is readily biodegradable. However, TAED-based laundry bleaches have several problems. First, of the four acetyl groups on TAED, only two are known to be available for perhydrolysis, making TAED an expensive acetyl precursor on a weight basis. Second, TAED has low water solubility, especially at the cooler water temperature bleaching cycles that are less damaging to fabrics. This is a major drawback, as current consumer trends in energy conservation are towards bleaching laundry fabrics with cool temperature water, rather than heated water. Undissolved TAED in cool temperature water is less unavailable as an acetyl precursor for the dissolved source of hydrogen peroxide and can even deposit on fabrics, necessitating a separate rinse step to remove it. Third, over time, when exposed to high humidity, solid TAED can react with the solid source of hydrogen peroxide and the free water to form PAA, as well as degrade the activity, making it less effective over time. Because the PAA is volatile, it imparts an undesirable pungent odor to the product. Thus, there is a need for a solid, peroxygen bleach that overcomes the deficiencies of the TAED-containing bleaches.

    [0015] EP1618786 discloses a process for the production of a bactericide based on an organic peracid. The sterilising agent is a water based solution obtained by combining triacetin and hydrogen peroxide. The ratio between these two components is 1/10 and 20/1.

    [0016] JP2004230323 discloses a sterilising agent for hard surfaces. Triacetin is used as an agent capable of liberating acetic acid, hydrogen peroxide is added and a metal hydroxide is used to being the pH to 8-12.

    [0017] US2010/227000 discloses a system for the preparation of a disinfectant of the peracetic acid type. A solid part A that is an acetyl source is combined with a liquid part B comprising 3-35% of hydrogen peroxide. A water solution of 0.05 to 5% alkali is added by adding sodium hydroxide. The pH is maintained between 5-8.

    [0018] US6221341 discloses a tooth whitening composition. Peracetic acid is used as the whitening agent and is generated by glyceryl triacetate with the addition of hydrogen peroxide and in the presence of a base that regulates the pH.

    SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION



    [0019] The present invention relates to a method of generating a non-equilibrium solution of peracetic acid, comprising:
    1. a. providing water;
    2. b. introducing triacetin and aqueous hydrogen peroxide to the water separately, either simultaneously or sequentially, with either one first;
    3. c. mixing the triacetin and the aqueous hydrogen peroxide with the water to form a mixture;
    4. d. adding an aqueous source of an alkali metal or earth alkali metal hydroxide to the mixture; and
    5. e. forming a reaction medium comprising a non-equilibrium solution of peracetic acid, characterized in that the aqueous source of the alkali metal or earth alkali metal hydroxide is sodium hydroxide at 1.82% to 7.28% by weight, and wherein the mole ratio of the sodium hydroxide to the hydrogen peroxide to the triacetin is 4.2:3.8:1.


    [0020] The application discloses a method of continuously or intermittently generating a non-equilibrium solution of peracetic acid on a site having a point-of-use of peracetic acid for use as a disinfectant or sanitizer. Water is provided on the site having the point-of-use. The water may be a flowing aqueous stream or it may be contained in a mixing tank or other vessel. The liquid acetyl precursor is triacetin. In accordance with the invention, the acetyl precursor and the aqueous hydrogen peroxide are introduced to the water separately, either sequentially, with either one first, or simultaneously.. The sodium hydroxide, is provided on the site having the point-of-use. The aqueous source of sodium hydroxide is added to the mixture. Alternatively, and in another embodiment, the aqueous source of sodium hydroxide may be added simultaneously with the hydrogen peroxide-acetyl precursor solution or with the acetyl precursor and the aqueous hydrogen peroxide, to the water. A reaction medium comprising a non-equilibrium solution of peracetic acid is formed. In the reaction medium, the hydrogen peroxide reacts with the acetyl precursor to form peracetic acid. Almost instantaneously, a non-equilibrium solution of PAA is formed. Within 30 seconds to five minutes, the amount of hydrogen peroxide and acetyl precursor that are converted into peracetic acid is maximized. With triacetin used as the acetyl precursor and assuming all three acetyl groups are reacted, 40.9% to 85.7% of the triacetin is converted into peracetic acid, and the percent of hydrogen peroxide remaining is 0.078% to 1.88%. The reaction medium may optionally be sampled at various times after the addition of the aqueous source of sodium hydroxide to determine the time required to maximize the amount of hydrogen peroxide and acetyl precursor that are converted into peracetic acid.

    [0021] The non-equilibrium solutions of PAA that are formed comprise PAA, unreacted hydrogen peroxide, unreacted acetyl precursor, the product of the perhydrolysis reaction of the acetyl precursor, the aqueous source of alkali metal or earth alkali metal hydroxide, and water. The peracetic acid solutions are alkaline, having a pH of 11.2 to 13.37. The reaction is remarkably fast, proceeds with a high conversion of the acetyl precursor into PAA. This method produces solutions with a high level of PAA, from 1% to 7.1%.

    [0022] The receiving water may be water used in the dairy, food, and beverage processing industries for clean-in-place pipeline and equipment cleaning; for fruit and vegetable washing; and in the treatment of meat, poultry, and seafood products. The receiving water may also be cooling water, oil and gas process water, or municipal wastewater. Other uses include slime and biofilm removal in papermaking processes.

    [0023] This method addresses one or more problems of the known prior art. The method is easy to perform, inexpensive to operate, and requires only basic and common equipment. The method is safe, in that it does not isolate pure PAA, and there is no possibility of a catastrophic event due to an equipment failure, such as over-pressurization or explosions. The triacetin that is used as the acetyl precursor, is inexpensive, non-toxic, safe, non-corrosive, non-irritating, non-flammable, sanctioned as Generally Recognized as Safe (GRAS) by the FDA, and converted quickly and with a high conversion rate into PAA. The method does not require the use of perhydrolase enzymes, acetic acid, or acetic anhydride, all of which suffer from the aforementioned limitations and problems. The method generates a PAA product that does not contain ammonium hydroxide. The method can be performed to generate a PAA product in a continuous or intermittent fashion. Further, the method allows the end-user the choice of utilizing the on site generated PAA immediately or later over the course of a working day.

    DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF THE INVENTION


    1. Definitions



    [0024] The terms "PAA" and "peracetic acid" mean peroxyacetic acid or peracetic acid, and/or the conjugate base of peracetic acid (the peracetate ion).

    [0025] The terms "percent" and "%" mean weight percent, except when referring to the percent converted.

    [0026] The term "receiving water" means the water that is being treated.

    [0027] The term "point-of-use" means the location where the peracetic acid enters the receiving water.

    2. Experimental Methods



    [0028] PAA and hydrogen peroxide in solution were determined using the ceric sulfate-sodium thiosulfate method. The method involves adding a known weight of sample containing the PAA and hydrogen peroxide (or dilution) to a beaker containing 50 ml of chilled 0.9 N sulfuric acid. Using a transfer pipette, 1-2 grams is accurately weighed to a sample cup and reverse osmosis (RO) or deionized water is added to provide a workable volume. Five drops of ferroin indicator is then added with stirring, and the sample is then titrated with 0.1 N ceric sulfate until the sample turns from purple to blue. The volume of ceric sulfate required in mL is recorded. Then, one or two small scoops of potassium iodide are added to the sample cup, which turns the solution dark brown. The sample is then titrated with 0.1 N sodium thiosulfate to discharge the brown coloration and form a pale straw coloration. Then, 10-15 drops of 0.5% starch indicator solution is introduced and the sample turns blue-black. The sodium thiosulfate is then added dropwise until the color transitions to a bright orange. The volume of sodium thiosulfate in mL was recorded. The percent hydrogen peroxide and the percent PAA are calculated as follows:





    [0029] For kinetic runs which involved measuring the PAA and hydrogen peroxide in samples at one, three, and five minute intervals after adding the reactants together, the generation reaction was quenched by adding a sample of the reaction medium to the sulfuric acid. This halted the generation reaction and stabilized the PAA and hydrogen peroxide to elevated pH degradation reactions. This permitted the samples to be taken at the appropriate time interval (one, three, and five minutes), and analyzed later.

    [0030] In circumstances where low concentrations of PAA were used, the modified DPD method (U.S. patent no. 7,651,724) was employed. This analytical technique is based on a modified DPD (N,N-diethyl-p-phenylenediamine) colorimetric method accepted by the EPA for measuring total chlorine in drinking water and wastewater. It relies on the ability of PAA to behave like chlorine in that it rapidly and quantitatively oxidizes iodide ion (I<->) into iodine (I2) that reacts with a color indicator (DPD), which turns the solution a shade of pink, the intensity of which is proportional to the concentration of the PAA. A colorimeter is used that is programmed to measure the intensity (absorbance) of the pink coloration and display the result in terms of ppm as Cl2. A calculation converts this number into the ppm as PAA, based on the weight ratio of PAA to Cl2(76/71 = 1.07).

    [0031] Hydrogen peroxide does not interfere with the measurement for PAA provided the analysis is completed within 30 seconds of introducing the DPD reagent. In order for the hydrogen peroxide to be measured, it must be activated by addition of a sodium molybdate catalyst and then given time (six minutes) to react with the I+ ion to liberate I2. Upon addition of the DPD indicator, the intensity of the pink coloration measured by the colorimeter is now the sum of the PAA and hydrogen peroxide concentrations expressed as ppm Cl2. After subtracting the ppm reading obtained earlier for the contribution due to PAA, a calculation is then used to convert this number into ppm as hydrogen peroxide, and is based on the weight ratio of hydrogen peroxide to Cl2(34/71 = 0.479).

    3. Methods of Generating Non-Equilibrium PAA On Site at the Point-of-Use



    [0032] Methods of continuously or intermittently generating non-equilibrium solutions of PAA on a site having a point-of-use of PAA for use as a disinfectant or sanitizer, using a source of water that is an aqueous stream or by a batch process using water in a container, are provided.

    [0033] In one embodiment, a method of continuously or intermittently generating non-equilibrium solutions of PAA on a site having a point-of-use, using a source of water that is an aqueous stream, comprises the following steps.

    (a) Providing water.



    [0034] Flowing water is provided on a site having a point-of-use of peracetic acid.

    [0035] The water may be flowing in, for example, a pipe, a flume, a canal, or other types of aqueous streams. The water pressure should be regulated and the flow rate should be monitored or measured. Any suitable flow meter may be used, such as a rotameter, a magnetic flow meter, an ultrasonic flow meter, a Doppler flow meter, a differential-pressure flow meter, a turbine flow meter, or a Coriolis flow meter.

    [0036] The water should be softened, deionized, or of sufficient low hardness that it will not precipitate calcium salts when the alkali metal or earth alkali metal hydroxide is introduced in step (d).

    (b) Introducing a hydrogen peroxide-acetyl precursor solution to the water.



    [0037] A hydrogen peroxide-acetyl precursor solution is provided on the site having the point-of-use of the PAA. The hydrogen peroxide-acetyl precursor solution may be prepared by the steps set forth in section 3 above. The hydrogen peroxide-acetyl precursor solution may be prepared off site and then transported to the site having the point-of-use, or the acetyl precursor and the aqueous hydrogen peroxide may be transported to the site having the point-of-use and used to prepare the hydrogen peroxide-acetyl precursor solution on the site.

    [0038] The liquid acetyl precursor is triacetin. When triacetin is used, a hydrogen peroxide-triacetin solution is introduced.

    [0039] The hydrogen peroxide-acetyl precursor solution is introduced to the flowing water in an amount such that the hydrogen peroxide-acetyl precursor solution is 5.6% to 22.5% of the total.

    [0040] The hydrogen peroxide-acetyl precursor solution is pumped from its container into the aqueous water stream, for example, through an injection quill mounted on the pipe. Any suitable pump capable of overcoming the pressure of the water flowing in the pipe may be used. Examples include a solenoid-driven or air-driven diaphragm pump or a peristaltic pump. The rate at which the hydrogen peroxide-acetyl precursor solution is pumped into the flowing water is governed by a controller that is interfaced to a flow meter that is measuring the flow of the water. In this way, the rate at which the hydrogen peroxide-acetyl precursor solution is pumped may be matched to the flow of the water in the aqueous stream. If the flow of the water slows, the rate at which the hydrogen peroxide-acetyl precursor solution is pumped should slow accordingly. If the flow of the water stops, the hydrogen peroxide-acetyl precursor pump should stop.

    [0041] As an alternative to step (b), the liquid acetyl precursor and the solution of aqueous hydrogen peroxide may be introduced to the water separately, either simultaneously or sequentially. If they are introduced sequentially, either one may be added first. If the liquid acetyl precursor and the aqueous hydrogen peroxide are introduced separately, rather than as an hydrogen peroxide-acetyl precursor solution, then in step (c) the liquid acetyl precursor and the aqueous hydrogen peroxide are mixed with the water to form a mixture.

    (c) Mixing the hydrogen peroxide-acetyl precursor solution and the water to form a mixture.



    [0042] Any mixing device suitable for mixing liquids may be used. An example is a static mixer located just after the point that the hydrogen peroxide-acetyl precursor solution is introduced to the flowing water. One type of static mixer utilizes a non-moving element such as a series of baffles. As the mixture flows through the static mixer under the motive force of the flowing water, the non-moving element divides the flow several times to provide radial mixing. Another type of static mixer utilizes a series of obstructions, such as column packing or glass beads, provided there is a low differential pressure drop across the mixer. The obstructions provide for turbulent mixing of the hydrogen peroxide-acetyl precursor solution and the flowing water. The mixing should yield a homogeneous solution with no concentration gradients before the next step is performed. The velocity of the water will determine the time it takes to complete the mixing and the efficiency of the mixing. For example, with 1.9 X 10-2 m (3/4 ") pipe, a static mixer of 1.9 X 10-2 m (3/4 ") diameter and 6" long, and a velocity of 6.3 x 10-5 m3 /s (1 gal/ min), mixing should be accomplished in less than about one second.

    (d) Adding an aqueous source of an alkali metal or earth alkali metal hydroxide to the mixture.



    [0043] An aqueous source of an alkali metal or earth alkali metal hydroxide is provided on the site having the point-of-use. The aqueous source of an alkali metal hydroxide is sodium hydroxide, and 50% sodium hydroxide is most preferable.

    [0044] Sufficient 50% NaOH is added to the flowing mixture such that the amount of sodium hydroxide is 1.82% to 7.28% of the total amount. With the acetyl precursor as triacetin, a mole ratio of NaOH: hydrogen peroxide:triacetin is 4.2:3.8:1.

    [0045] The 50% NaOH solution is added to the mixture by pumping it from its container with a suitable pumping device and into the mixture through an injection quill mounted on the pipe. Any suitable pump capable of overcoming the hydraulic pressure of the pipe may be used. Examples include a solenoid-driven or air-driven diaphragm pump or a peristaltic pump.

    [0046] The rate at which the 50% NaOH solution is pumped into the pipe is governed by the same controller that is interfaced to both the flow meter that is measuring the flow of the mixture and the pump controlling the rate of introduction of the hydrogen peroxide-acetyl precursor solution. In this way, the rate at which the 50% NaOH solution is introduced may be matched to both the flow of the mixture and the rate of introducing the hydrogen peroxide-acetyl precursor solution. If the flow of the mixture slows for any reason, the rate at which the 50% NaOH solution is pumped should slow accordingly. If the flow of the mixture stops, the 50% NaOH pump should stop as well.

    [0047] Step (d) may be performed after step (c), or it may be performed simultaneously with step (b).

    (e) Forming a reaction medium comprising a non-equilibrium solution of peracetic acid.



    [0048] The reaction medium that is formed in this step almost instantaneously forms a non-equilibrium solution of PAA. The hydrogen peroxide reacts with the acetyl precursor to form peracetic acid. Depending upon the temperature of the water, the efficiency of mixing, and the mole ratio of NaOH:hydrogen peroxide:acetyl precursor employed, the amount of hydrogen peroxide and acetyl precursor that are converted into PAA is maximized within 30 seconds to five minutes.

    [0049] The non-equilibrium solutions of PAA prepared by this method comprise PAA, unreacted hydrogen peroxide, unreacted acetyl precursor, the product of the perhydrolysis reaction of the acetyl precursor, the aqueous source of alkali metal or earth alkali metal hydroxide, and water. With the acetyl precursors as triacetin, the product of the perhydrolysis reaction is 1,2,3-propanetriol (glycerine).

    [0050] This method may also include an optional step after step (e) of sampling the reaction medium at various times after the addition of the aqueous source of alkali metal or earth alkali metal hydroxide to determine the time required under the existing conditions to maximize the amount of hydrogen peroxide and acetyl precursor that are converted into PAA. This may be accomplished by directing the flow of the reaction medium through a series of residence chambers equipped with sampling ports. The residence chambers are designed to be of sufficient volume such that a certain amount of time has elapsed since the introduction of the 50% NaOH. Thus, at any given flow rate in the pipe, the first residence chamber is of a volume such that 30 seconds have elapsed since the introduction of 50% NaOH, one minute has elapsed by the time the flow reaches the sampling port immediately after the second residence chamber, and additional time elapses by the time the flow reaches the remaining sampling ports. Up to four residence chambers and sampling ports may be placed in series such as this to provide the user with about 30 seconds to five minutes of residence time after the introduction of the 50% NaOH. Once the flow of the reaction medium has been established, samples are drawn from all four sampling ports associated with the residence chambers and analyzed for peracetic acid. The sample which registers the highest amount of peracetic acid is deemed to be drawn from the sampling port associated with the residence chamber corresponding to the time of maximum conversion of the acetyl precursor into peracetic acid. At this point, the entire flow of reaction medium is directed through the sampling point of maximum conversion of acetyl precursor and to the point-of-use.

    [0051] The application further discloses a method of continuously or intermittently generating a non-equilibrium solution of PAA on a site having the point-of-use in a batch process comprises the following steps:

    (a) Providing water.



    [0052] A container of water, such as a mixing tank or other vessel, is provided on a site having a point-of-use of peracetic acid. The water should be softened, deionized, or of sufficient low hardness that it will not precipitate calcium salts when the alkali metal or earth alkali metal hydroxide is introduced in step (d).

    (b) Introducing a hydrogen peroxide-acetyl precursor solution to the water.



    [0053] A hydrogen peroxide-acetyl precursor solution is provided on the site having the point-of-use of the PAA. The hydrogen peroxide-acetyl precursor solution may be prepared by the steps set forth in section 3 above. The hydrogen peroxide-acetyl precursor solution may be prepared off site and then transported to the site having the point-of-use, or the acetyl precursor and the aqueous hydrogen peroxide may be transported to the site having the point-of-use and used to prepare the hydrogen peroxide-acetyl precursor solution on the site.

    [0054] The liquid acetyl precursor is triacetin. When triacetin is used, a hydrogen peroxide-triacetin solution is introduced.

    [0055] The hydrogen peroxide-acetyl precursor solution is introduced to the water in an amount such that the hydrogen peroxide-acetyl precursor solution is 5.6% to 22.5% of the total.

    [0056] The hydrogen peroxide-acetyl precursor solution is pumped from its container into the container of water through an injection quill mounted on the side of the container of water. Any suitable pump may be used. Examples include a solenoid-driven or air-driven diaphragm pump or a peristaltic pump.

    [0057] As an alternative to step (b), the liquid acetyl precursor and the solution of aqueous hydrogen peroxide may be introduced to the water separately, either simultaneously or sequentially. If they are introduced sequentially, either one may be added first. If the liquid acetyl precursor and the aqueous hydrogen peroxide are introduced separately, rather than as an hydrogen peroxide-acetyl precursor solution, then in step (c) the liquid acetyl precursor and the aqueous hydrogen peroxide are mixed with the water to form a mixture.

    (c) Mixing the hydrogen peroxide-acetyl precursor solution and the water to form a mixture.



    [0058] Any mixing device suitable for mixing liquids may be used. An example is an overhead stirrer, such as an agitator blade. The container of water is equipped with a baffle to assist the process of mixing. The mixing should yield a homogeneous solution with no concentration gradients before the next step is performed.

    (d) Adding an aqueous source of an alkali metal or earth alkali metal hydroxide to the mixture.



    [0059] An aqueous source of an alkali metal or earth alkali metal hydroxide is provided on the site having the point-of-use. The aqueous source of an alkali metal hydroxide is sodium hydroxide, and 50% sodium hydroxide is most preferable.

    [0060] Sufficient 50% NaOH is added to the mixture such that the amount of sodium hydroxide is 1.82% to 7.28% of the total amount. With the acetyl precursor as triacetin, a preferred mole ratio of NaOH: hydrogen peroxide:triacetin is 4.2:3.8:1.

    [0061] The 50% NaOH solution is added to the mixture by pumping it from its container with a suitable pumping device and into the mixture through an injection quill mounted on the side of the container of water. Any suitable pump may be used. Examples include a solenoid-driven or air-driven diaphragm pump or a peristaltic pump.

    [0062] Step (d) may be performed after step (c), or it may be performed simultaneously with step (b).

    (e) Forming a reaction medium comprising a non-equilibrium solution of peracetic acid.



    [0063] The reaction medium that is formed in this step almost instantaneously forms a non-equilibrium solution of PAA. The hydrogen peroxide reacts with the acetyl precursor to form peracetic acid. Depending upon the temperature of the water, the efficiency of mixing, and the mole ratio of NaOH:hydrogen peroxide:acetyl precursor employed, the amount of hydrogen peroxide and acetyl precursor that are converted into PAA is maximized within 30 seconds to five minutes.

    [0064] The non-equilibrium solutions of PAA prepared by this method comprise PAA, unreacted hydrogen peroxide, unreacted acetyl precursor, the product of the perhydrolysis reaction of the acetyl precursor, the aqueous source of alkali metal or earth alkali metal hydroxide, and water. With the acetyl precursors as triacetin, the product of the perhydrolysis reaction is 1, 2, 3-propanetriol (glycerine).

    [0065] While not wishing to be bound by theory, it is believed that under elevated pH conditions created by the addition of a source of alkali metal hydroxide or earth alkali metal hydroxide, hydrogen peroxide dissociates according to the following equation:

            H2O2=H+ + HO2-



    [0066] The perhydroxyl anion (HO2-) then affects nucleophilic substitution reactions on the carbonyl groups of the acetyl precursor in a perhydrolysis reaction to form peracetic acid and the product of the perhydroloysis reaction of the acetyl precursor. With the acetyl precursor as triacetin and all three acetyl groups are reacted, then the product of the perhydrolysis reaction is 1,2,3-propanetriol (glycerine).

    [0067] In these methods, the perhydrolysis reaction is rapid and the maximum amount of PAA is generated within about 30 seconds to about five minutes at ambient temperature. The methods efficiently utilize the acetyl precursor and the source of hydrogen peroxide. With triacetin used, assuming all three acetyl groups are reacted, 40.9% to 85.7% of the triacetin is converted into PAA. The percent of hydrogen peroxide remaining is 0.078% to 1.88%.

    [0068] The non-equilibrium solutions of PAA prepared by these methods have several unique characteristics. The PAA solutions have high levels of PAA, from 1% to 7.1%. In addition, the PAA solutions are alkaline, having a pH of 11.2 to 13.37.

    [0069] The non-equilibrium solutions of PAA may be immediately introduced to the receiving water at the point-of-use, Alternatively, the solutions may be stabilized by halting the decomposition of the PAA by adding a source of acid to lower the elevated pH of the reaction medium caused by the addition of an alkali metal or earth alkali metal hydroxide, and to provide neutral to mildly acid pH conditions to stabilize the PAA to elevated pH degradation. The acid-stabilized PAA solutions can then be stored and used at the point-of-use as required throughout a working day.

    [0070] The non-equilibrium PAA solutions produced by these methods can be advantageously used wherever traditional equilibrium solutions of PAA are used. Thus, the PAA solutions may be used as a disinfectant and sanitizer in the dairy, food, and beverage processing industries for clean-in-place pipeline and equipment cleaning; for fruit and vegetable washing; and in the treatment of meat, poultry, and seafood products. These PAA solutions may also be used in the treatment of cooling water, oil and gas process water, and municipal wastewater. Other uses include slime and biofilm removal in papermaking processes.

    [0071] For both of the above methods, steps (a) through (e) may be performed on a continuous or intermittent basis. In a continuous basis, the steps are performed under conditions of steady state, and the PAA solution is produced at the same rate as a function of time. However, intermittent performing of steps (a) through (e) is possible if the demand for the PAA solution drops for any reason (e.g., change in working shift or the target level of PAA in the receiving water has been achieved), in which case, steps (a) through (e) may be discontinued and resumed when the demand increases.

    Example 1



    [0072] Tests were performed using about one liter of reverse osmosis (RO) or softened water which was buffered to an alkaline pH. The buffering media included 0.1 and 0.2 M Na2CO3 solutions, in addition to 0.1 and 0.2 M NaOH solutions. Sufficient buffering media was added to the water in order to achieve the desired pH. The amount of hydrogen peroxide (introduced as 50% hydrogen peroxide) and triacetin used in the tests is summarized in Table VIII. The reactants were introduced to the solution in one of three ways: simultaneously (referred to in Table VIII as "double"), sequentially (triacetin followed shortly by hydrogen peroxide), or by mixing the hydrogen peroxide and triacetin together and adding them in a single charge (referred to in Table VIII as "mixed"). All testing was performed at ambient temperature as the one-liter beaker was stirred with a magnetic stir bar. Using the ceric sulfate-iodometric titration method, the percent of PAA generated and the percent of hydrogen peroxide remaining were measured five minutes after introduction of the reactants to the buffer. The percent of the triacetin acetyl donor converted to PAA was calculated, assuming all three acetyl groups were available for perhydrolysis.



    [0073] Table VIII shows that the amount of PAA generated was independent of the method of introducing the triacetin and hydrogen peroxide to the buffer solutions. It can be seen that the pH of the buffer had a significant effect on the percent of the triacetin that was converted into PAA. Only when the pH was above 12 was a meaningful percent of the triacetin converted into PAA.

    Example 2



    [0074] A series of experiments was then performed in which the mole ratio of NaOH:TA was fixed at 8:1 and the mole ratio of hydrogen peroxide:triacetin was varied from 2:1 to 8:1. Triacetin (5 g) was added to 965 mL of softened water along with 50.7% hydrogen peroxide in successive tests (3.06 g for the 2:1 mole ratio; 6.19 g for the 4:1 mole ratio; 9.23 g for the 6:1 mole ratio; and 12.32 g for the 8:1 mole ratio) to yield a solution with a pH of 4.8-5.5. The volume of the mixture was adjusted to 990 mL with softened water. With mixing, 50% NaOH (14.67 g) was introduced. Using the ceric sulfate-iodometric titration method, the percent of PAA generated and the percent of hydrogen peroxide remaining were measured over the next 20 minutes. The method was performed in duplicate for each sample point. The averages of the results for the kinetic run employing the mole ratio of 8:6:1 NaOH:hydrogen peroxide:TA are shown in Table XI.
    Table XI
    Time (min)% PAA Generated% Hydrogen Peroxide Remaining% Triacetin Converted to PAA (3 acetyls)
    1 0.331 0.317 63.8
    3 0.330 0.303 63.6
    5 0.319 0.303 61.5
    10 0.300 0.295 57.8
    20 0.256 0.274 49.3


    [0075] Upon addition of the NaOH, PAA was immediately generated, with the maximum amount of 0.331% occurring after just one minute, corresponding to a calculated conversion of triacetin into PAA of 63.8%, assuming that all three acetyl groups of triacetin were available for per hydrolysis.

    [0076] This exercise was repeated for mole ratios of hydrogen peroxide:triacetin ranging from 2:1 to 6:1. Table XII summarizes the data and shows the maximum percent of PAA generated, the time after the addition of NaOH that it took to reach the maximum percent of PAA generated, the pH after the addition of the NaOH, the percent of hydrogen peroxide remaining at the time of the maximum percent of PAA, and the calculated percent of triacetin converted to PAA assuming that all three acetyl groups were available for perhydrolysis.
    Table XII
    Mole Ratio Hydrogen Peroxide:TriacetinTime at Max. PAA (min)Max%PAA Generated% Hydrogen Remaining% Triacetin Converted to PAA (3 acetyls)pH
    2:1 3 0.214 0.079 40.9 12.6
    4:1 1 0.272 0.195 51.9 12.4
    6:1 1 0.331 0.317 63.8 12.3
    8:1 3 0.374 0.445 72.0 11.9


    [0077] It can be seen that the amount of PAA generated, and hence the conversion of triacetin. into PAA, increased with the increasing mole ratio of hydrogen peroxide:triacetin. For all four mole ratios employed, the maximum amount of PAA was generated between one and three minutes. The optimum mole ratio of hydrogen peroxide:triacetin was 8:1 as it resulted in the most efficient utilization of triacetin converted into PAA.

    Example 3



    [0078] A further series of experiments was performed in which the mole ratio of hydrogen peroxide to triacetin was fixed at 4:1 and the molar ratio of NaOH to triacetin was varied from 3:1 to 8:1. Triacetin (5 g) was added to around 975 mL of softened water along with 50.7% hydrogen peroxide (6.18 g) to yield a solution with a pH of 4.8 to 5.3. With mixing, 50% NaOH was introduced in successive tests (5.51 g for the 3:1 mole ratio; 7.30 g for the 4:1 mole ratio; 11.03 g for the 6:1 mole ratio; and 14.67 g for the 8:1 mole ratio). The volume of the mixture was adjusted to 1000 mL with softened water. Using the ceric sulfate-iodometric titration method, the percent of PAA generated and the percent of hydrogen peroxide remaining were measured over the next 20 minutes. The method was performed in duplicate for each sample point. The averages of the results for the kinetic run employing the mole ratio of NaOH:hydrogen peroxide:triacetin of 4:4:1 are shown in Table XIII.
    Table XIII
    Time (min)% PAA Generated% Hydrogen Peroxide Remaining% Triacetin Converted to PAA (3 Acetyls)
    1 0.247 0.208 47.3
    3 0.280 0.178 53.6
    5 0.292 0.167 55.9
    10 0.267 0.142 51.1
    20 0.229 0.111 43.8


    [0079] Upon addition of the NaOH, PAA was immediately generated, with the maximum amount of 0.292% occurring after five minutes, corresponding, to a calculated conversion of 55.9% triacetin into PAA assuming that all three acetyl groups of triacetin were available for per hydrolysis.

    [0080] This exercise was repeated for mole ratios of NaOH:TA ranging from 3:1 to 8:1. Table XIV summarizes the data and records the maximum percent of PAA generated, the time after the addition of NaOH that it took to reach the maximum percent of PAA generated, the pH after the addition of the NaOH, the percent of hydrogen peroxide remaining at the time of the maximum percent of PAA, and the calculated percent of triacetin converted to PAA assuming that all three acetyl groups were available for per hydrolysis.
    Table XIV
    Mole Ratio NaOH:TATime at Max. PAA (min)Max % PAA Generated% Hydrogen Remaining% Triacetin Converted to PAA (3 acetyls)pH
    3:1 3 0.246 0.202 47.2 11.3
    4:1 5 0.292 0.167 55.9 11.6
    6:1 3 0.290 0.181 55.6 12.2
    8:1 3 0.272 0.195 51.9 12.4


    [0081] It can be seen that the amount of PAA generated maximized when the mole ratio of NaOH:hydrogen peroxide:triacetin was 4:4:1. The optimum mole ratio of NaOH:hydrogen peroxide:triacetin was 4:4:1 as it resulted in an efficient utilization of triacetin converted into PAA, and because the pH of the resulting reaction medium would have less impact on the pH of the receiving water than the higher pH of the reaction medium resulting from the 4:6:1 mole ratio of NaOH:hydrogen peroxide:triacetin. For all four mole ratios employed, the maximum amount of PAA was generated between three and five minutes.


    Claims

    1. A method of generating a non-equilibrium solution of peracetic acid, comprising:

    a. providing water;

    b. introducing triacetin and aqueous hydrogen peroxide to the water separately, either simultaneously or sequentially, with either one first;

    c. mixing the triacetin and the aqueous hydrogen peroxide with the water to form a mixture;

    d. adding an aqueous source of an alkali metal or earth alkali metal hydroxide to the mixture; and

    e. forming a reaction medium comprising a non-equilibrium solution of peracetic acid, characterized in that the aqueous source of the alkali metal or earth alkali metal hydroxide is sodium hydroxide at 1.82% to 7.28% by weight, and wherein the mole ratio of the sodium hydroxide to the hydrogen peroxide to the triacetin is 4.2:3.8:1.


     
    2. The method of claim 1, further comprising allowing the reaction medium a reaction time of 30 seconds to five minutes.
     


    Ansprüche

    1. Verfahren zum Erzeugen einer Nichtgleichgewichtslösung aus Peroxyessigsäure, umfassend:

    a. Bereitstellen von Wasser;

    b. Zuführen von Triacetin und wässrigem Wasserstoffperoxid, entweder gleichzeitig oder nacheinander, mit einem beliebigen zuerst, zu dem Wasser;

    c. Vermischen des Triacetins und des wässrigen Wasserstoffperoxids mit dem Wasser zu einem Gemisch;

    d. Zugeben einer wässrigen Quelle eines Alkalimetall- oder Erdalkalimetallhydroxids zu dem Gemisch und

    e. Bilden eines Reaktionsmediums, umfassend eine Nichtgleichgewichtslösung aus Peroxyessigsäure, dadurch gekennzeichnet, dass die wässrige Quelle des Alkalimetall- oder Erdalkalimetallhydroxids Natriumhydroxid bei 1,82 Gew.-% bis 7,28 Gew.-% ist und wobei das Molverhältnis des Natriumhydroxids zum Wasserstoffperoxid zum Triacetin 4,2:3,8;1 ist.


     
    2. Verfahren nach Anspruch 1, ferner umfassend das Zulassen einer Reaktionszeit von 30 Sekunden bis fünf Minuten für das Reaktionsmedium.
     


    Revendications

    1. Procédé pour la génération d'une solution hors d'équilibre d'acide péracétique, comprenant les étapes consistant à :

    a. fournir de l'eau ;

    b. introduire de la triacétine et du peroxyde d'hydrogène aqueux dans l'eau séparément, soit simultanément, soit séquentiellement, avec l'un quelconque d'entre eux en premier ;

    c. mélanger la triacétine et le peroxyde d'hydrogène aqueux avec l'eau de manière à former un mélange ;

    d. ajouter la source aqueuse d'un métal alcalin ou d'un hydroxyde de métal alcalino-terreux au mélange ; et

    e. former un milieu de réaction comprenant une solution hors d'équilibre d'acide péracétique, caractérisé en ce que la source aqueuse du métal alcalin ou de l'hydroxyde de métal alcalino-terreux est de l'hydroxyde de sodium à 1,82 % à 7,28% en poids, et dans lequel le rapport molaire de l'hydroxyde de sodium au peroxyde d'hydrogène à la triacétine est de 4,2 : 3,8 : 1.


     
    2. Procédé selon la revendication 1, comprenant par ailleurs le fait de laisser le milieu de réaction avoir un temps de réaction de 30 secondes à cinq minutes.
     




    Drawing






    REFERENCES CITED IN THE DESCRIPTION



    This list of references cited by the applicant is for the reader's convenience only. It does not form part of the European patent document. Even though great care has been taken in compiling the references, errors or omissions cannot be excluded and the EPO disclaims all liability in this regard.

    Patent documents cited in the description