The Fenton reagent is produced when a solution of hydrogen peroxide is mixed with dissolved ferrous iron. The ferrous iron acts as a catalyst to produce a hydroxyl radical. The hydroxyl radical generated in the Fenton Process is a strong oxidizer that is second only to Fluorine in its oxidizing strength. It has approximately twice the oxidizing strength of hydrogen peroxide alone.
Fenton’s reagent is used to oxidize organic contaminates found in industrial waste waters. Fenton’s reagent is most commonly used to destroy organic compounds that are resistant to other wastewater treatment techniques such as biological treatment or carbon adsorption. Typical application is the destruction of organic solvents that are resistant to biological oxidation such as phenols, formaldehyde, methylene chloride and chlorinated solvents.