Whether you realize it or not, you are in the presence of microorganisms daily. Some of them are relatively harmless, but others, like viruses, can be incredibly harmful and dangerous to human health. If some microorganisms are really that harmful, then would you not want to control or eliminate them? Biocides, or antimicrobial agents, can do just that! These microorganism controllers are a diverse group of chemicals that are in many processes and products. Today, we will cover the two different types of biocides, examples of biocides, and products that contain or function as antimicrobial agents.
Two Different Types of Biocides
Antimicrobial agents can be classified into one of two categories: oxidizing and non-oxidizing. Oxidizing biocides use oxidation, a process that involves electronegative atoms stealing electrons from another atom, to destroy the outermost layer of a cell and kill the organism. Some examples of this type of biocide are:
- Peracetic Acid
Non-oxidizing biocides, on the other hand, use other methods to kill microorganisms. Generally, they either interfere with an organism’s reproduction or break its cell walls. A number of examples include:
- Tetrakis Hydroxymethyl Phosphonium Sulfate (THPS)
- Quaternary Ammonium Salts
Examples of Products That Contain Antimicrobial Agents
As mentioned earlier, antimicrobial agents are used in a wide variety of processes and products. In fact, many fields and industries can benefit from using microorganism controllers such as public health and agriculture. Some examples of products that contain or function as biocides are:
- Sanitizing supplies such as disinfectants
- Preservatives for objects like wood and paint
- Water treatment chemicals to prevent microorganism growth
- Repellents for inserts
Still Curious About Biocides?
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