Biochemical Biopesticides: Organic Acids
Peracids are highly effective sanitizing agents used for control of pathogens and algae. Peracids, also called activated peroxygen, use hydrogen peroxide (H2O2) as their base component. Hydrogen peroxide is a well-known chemical compound that can be found in most people’s medicine cabinets for disinfecting cuts and bruises, among other uses.
Peracids combine hydrogen peroxide and organic acids, typically acetic acid, to form a new compound called peroxyacetic acid, abbreviated as PAA. This new compound is an activated form of hydrogen peroxide and produces a much more stable and powerful oxidizing compound to treat pathogens and algae in water.
The mode of action of peracids is by oxidation of cell membranes and penetration into cell structures of algae, bacteria and fungi. More specifically, peracids form free hydroxyl radicals (OH), which oxidize and disrupt thiol groups in proteins and enzymes.