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Oxidation is used to oxidize inorganic compounds in the reduced state (such as iron, manganese, nitrites, hydrogen sulfide, etc.) and for the partial oxidation or certain organic materials. This step may also decrease the odor and color of the treated wastewater.

The most common oxidizing agents are ozone, chlorine dioxide and potassium permanganate. The choice and dosage of the reactant depend upon the raw wastewater quality, the treatment objectives and in particular for the chlorine dioxide, the limits set on chlorite formation.

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