Development of Environmental-friendly Cleaning Agents Utilizing Organic Acids for Removal of Scale on the Wall of Cleaning Beds and Distribution Reservoirs in the Waterworks

유기산을 이용한 상수도 정수장 및 배수지 벽면 스케일 세척용 친환경 세정제 개발

Lee, Jae-Ryoung;Yoon, Hee-Keun;Bae, Jae-Heum;Shin, Hyun-Duk

  • Received : 2012.08.02
  • Accepted : 2012.09.05
  • Published : 2012.09.30


In this study, an environmental-friendly cleaning agent utilizing organic acids and various additives has been developed and applied to the field for removal of scale deposited on the cleaning beds or distribution reservoirs of the waterworks. As an analytical result of scale on the cleaning beds, we found that it consists of mainly metallic oxides such as $SiO_2$, $Al_2O_3$, $Fe_2O_3$, and MnO. Malic acid, malonic acid, and citric acid showed relatively better solvency on $Al_2O_3$, $Fe_2O_3$, and MnO except $SiO_2$ among various organic acids. Mixed organic acid solutions of malic acid, malonic acid, and citric acid were prepared with certain weight ratios and their solvencies on mixed metal oxides of $Al_2O_3$, $Fe_2O_3$, and MnO were investigated. The experimental results showed that an 10% mixed organic acid solution prepared with weight ratio of malic acid : malonic acid : citric acid = 6 : 2 : 2 were found to have best scale solvency power of about 29%. The formulated cleaning agents with a small amount of nonionic surfactant showed much better solvency on mixed oxides than mixed organic solution alone. Especially, the formulated cleaning agent with 0.2 wt% LA-7 surfactant appeared to have best scale removal efficiency of about 35%. However, the formulated cleaning agent with disinfectants such as NaClO, $H_2O_2$ and $Ca(ClO)_2$ showed poor solvency on mixed oxides. It is inferred that surfactants are able to improve scale removal efficiency due to their capability of emulsification, and disinfectants cause to degrade scale solvency in water because of their oxidation. Based on these basic experimental results, formulated cleaning agents have been prepared with mixed organic acid solution, nonionic surfactants, and disinfectants and successfully applied to removal of scales on the cleaning beds and distribution reservoir at city D waterworks.


Environmental-friendly cleaning agents;Nonionic surfactant;Distribution reservoir scale;Organic acid;Solvency of metal oxide


  1. 2009 White Paper of Environment, Ministry of Environment (2009).
  3. Yeom, C. M., Cho, Y. S., Kim, K. N., Kim, J. K., and Kim, S. D., "Techniques for Cleaning and Regeneration of Indoor Supply Pipe," J. Korean Soc. of Water & Wastewater, 18(4), 411-417 (2004).
  4. Schaal, C., "Composition and method for cleaning drink water Tanks," U.S. Patent No. 6,346,217 (2002).
  5. Schulhoff, J., and Schaal, C., "Cleaning/disinfectant composition to clean surfaces," U.S. Patent No. 7,183,246 B2 (2007).
  6. Reimann-Philip, U., and Schulgoff, J., "Method and composition for removing biological fouling from surfaces in contact with water," U.S. Patent No. 2008/0314416 A1 (2008).
  7. Zwanziger, W. F., and Reimann-Philip, U., "Method and composition for removing contamination from surfaces in contact with water," U.S. Patent No. 2011/0108069 A1 (2011).
  8. val.pdf/
  9. Kim, T. W., "Method for cleaning water reservoir utilizing non-toxic and environmental-friendly cleaning agent," Korea Patent No. 10-1021035 (2011).
  10. Kim, T. W., "Non-toxic and environmental-friendly cleaning agent for water reservoir," Korea Patent No.10-1042488 (2011).
  11. Bae, J. H., Woo, D. S., and Shin, H. D., "Cleaner compositon for cleaning indoor water supply pipes," Korea Patent No. 10-0808313 (2008).
  12. Lee, J. H., Jung, J. Y., Park, Y. B., Bae, J. H., Woo, D. S., and Shin, H. D., "Development of Chemical Cleaning Agents for Cleaning Indoor Water Supply Pipes," Clean Technol., 16 (3), 162-171 (2010).
  13. Panias, D., Taxiarchou, M., Paspaliaris, I., and Kontopoulos, "Mechani of Dissolution of Iron Oxides in Aqueous Oxalic Acid Solutions," Hydrometallurgy, 42, 257-265 (1996).
  14. Fukuzaki, S., Urano, H., and Yamada, S., "Effect of pH on the Efficiency of Sodium Hypochlorite Solution as Cleaning and Bactericidal Agents," J. Surf. Finishing Soc. Jap., 58(8), 465-469 (2007).
  15. Bae, J. H., and Shin, H. D., "Eco-friendly detergent composition for cleaning water reservoir," Korea Patent No. 10- 1140217 (2012).

Cited by

  1. Biological production of l-malate: recent advances and future prospects vol.34, pp.1, 2018,


Supported by : 중소기업청, 지식경제부