Oxidation destroys hazardous contaminants by chemically converting them to nonhazardous or less toxic compounds that are ideally more stable, less mobile, and/or inert. However, under some conditions, other hazardous compounds may be formed. The oxidizing agents most commonly used for the treatment of hazardous contaminants are ozone, hydrogen peroxide, hypochlorites, chlorine, and chlorine dioxide. Current research has shown the combination of these reagents or ultraviolet (UV) light and an oxidizing agent(s) makes the process more effective [1; 2; 3, p. 11]. 2 Treatability studies are necessary to document the applicability and performance of chemical oxidation systems technology for a specific site.

Chemical oxidation is a developed technology commonly used to treat liquid mixtures containing amines, chlorophenols, cyanides, halogenated aliphatic compounds, mercaptans, phenols, and certain pesticides [4, p. 7.76; 5, p. 7.42]. In lab-scale tests, chemical oxidation has been shown to be effective for chlorinated organics [6, p. 229].

This chapter provides information on the technology applicability, limitations, a technology description, the types of residuals produced, site requirements, current performance data, status of technology, and sources of further information.