I'm writing this question as a wine brewer (not a chemist), so apologies if I use inaccurate terminology.

I'm interested in using sodium percarbonate as a cleaning/sanitising solution for brewing equipment. It is my understanding that, when mixed with water, sodium percarbonate produces hydrogen peroxide for a short time, and then eventually breaks down into 'safe' compounds. The logic is that you can use the solution to clean brewing equipment, but after the reaction has completed then the resulting solution is 'safe' to pour down the drain and will not affect aquatic life.

We are setting up an off-grid winery and will be treating waste water using a reed bed system, so what may be deemed 'safe' to pour down a municipal drain may not necessarily be safe to put into a reed bed system. Therefore, I'd like to be entirely clear exactly what chemicals are left in solution after sodium percarbonate has finished reacting with water?


1 Answer 1


From Wikipedia:

Dissolved in water, sodium percarbonate yields a mixture of hydrogen peroxide (which eventually decomposes to water and oxygen), sodium cations $\ce{Na+}$ , and carbonate $\ce{CO3^2-}$

$$\ce{2Na2CO3*3H2O2 -> 3H2O2 + 4Na+ + 2CO3^2-}$$ $$\ce{2H2O2 -> 2H2O + O2}$$

  • 3
    $\begingroup$ …and to promote hydrogen peroxide decomposition one might want use a waste sump made of steel or copper. $\endgroup$
    – andselisk
    Commented May 26, 2022 at 10:50
  • $\begingroup$ So the solution will be quite alkaline, depending on the concentration of sodium carbonate. $\endgroup$ Commented May 26, 2022 at 11:25

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