Common Chemical Reagents

Caustic potash is another name for potassium hydroxide (KOH).  It is the largest volume potassium chemical used for commercial, non-fertilizer purposes. (In 2005, an estimated 700,000 to 800,000 tons were produced). It is produced by the electrolysis of potassium chloride, using membrane or mercury cell technology. 

Caustic soda, also known as sodium hydroxide (NaOH), caustic, and lye, is a strong metallic base. It is used in a wide variety of industries and by consumers for cleaning. Caustic soda is highly corrosive and reactive.

Chlorine Dioxide is used in the winery as an alternative to chlorinated cleaners because of the magnitude of the effect that chlorine has on wine quality through the formation of TCA. Although chlorine is in the name chlorine dioxide, chlorine is not involved in any of chlorine dioxides reaction pathways.

Citric acid has many uses in wine production. Citric acid is a weak organic acid, which is often used as a natural preservative or additive to food or drink to add a sour taste to food. It can also be used to neutralize surfaces that have been treated with basic substances.

Iodophor is an iodine containing solution with a solubilizing agent such as a surfactant or providone. Iodophor is widely used in the brewing and dairy industries as a sanitizer.

Lysozyme is an enzyme found in egg whites and other animal products that demonstrates antibacterial behavior by causing cell lysis in a number of bacterial species (Hughey and Johnson 1987).

Ozone is a molecule that is made up of three oxygen molecules (O3) that exists as a pale blue gas. It is much less stable than the allotrope of oxygen that exists in our atmosphere (O2).

Peroxyacetic acid (Peracetic Acid, PAA; CH3CO3H) is a sanitizing agent widely used in the food and brewing industries and increasingly in the wine industry for its ability to efficiently kill microbes and sanitize surfaces “on contact” (Orth 1998).

Quaternary ammonium compounds or “Quats” are heat stable, non-corrosive chemicals that function over a broad pH to disrupt cell membranes. This bactericidal action is facilitated by the association of the positively charged quaternary ammonium groups with phospholipids forming micelle aggregates and lysing the cell.

Soda ash is also known as sodium carbonate, washing soda, or soda crystals. It is well known for its use as a water softener in laundry, and is synthetically produced from table salt via the Solvay process.

Sorbic acid is a short-chained unsaturated (has double bonds) fatty acid. Its iupac name is 2,4 hexadienoic acid and its chemical formula is C6H8O2. It has a carboxylic tail which has a pKa of 4.76.

Trisodium Phosphate (Na₃PO₄) is a white crystal that forms an alkaline solution when mixed with water. TSP is non-toxic, cheap, and has a pH of 12-14 in solution. This solution is extremely basic and is used to clean, sanitize, and remove stains from various substrates by saponification.

Dimethyl dicarbonate, DMDC, has a molecular formula C4H6O5 and a molar mass of 134.09 g/mol. DMDC is soluble in water and miscible in toluene (JECFA). DMDC is currently used as a preservative in food with antimicrobial action.