Perchlorate pp 17-47 | Cite as

The Chemistry of Perchlorate in the Environment

  • Gilbert M. Brown
  • Baohua Gu


The persistence of perchlorate in groundwater can be understood from its chemical and physical properties and its chemical reactivity. Although perchlorate is a powerful oxidizing agent, its notorious lack of reactivity can be understood from the requirement that reduction involves oxygen atom transfer. Because perchlorate is relatively unreactive, remediation schemes involving direct chemical or electrochemical reduction are not effective. The low hydration energy of perchlorate anions favors sorption on organic anion exchange resins. Remediation methods involving collection on such resins prior to reduction or some other means of disposal are feasible. Biological systems that naturally reduce and degrade perchlorate are also a potentially practical means of remediating perchlorate-contaminated groundwater in a cost-effective manner.


Perchloric Acid Chlorine Atom Ammonium Perchlorate Hydration Energy Chlorine Dioxide 
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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, Inc. 2006

Authors and Affiliations

  • Gilbert M. Brown
    • 1
  • Baohua Gu
    • 1
  1. 1.Chemical Sciences and Environmental Sciences DivisionsOak Ridge National LaboratoryOak Ridge

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