HOME > Blog > Details

What is oxygen scavenger

An oxygen scavenger is a chemical substance that is used to remove or reduce oxygen levels in a variety of systems and products. The primary function of oxygen scavengers is to prevent oxidation, which can lead to corrosion, spoilage, and degradation of materials and products. They are widely used in industries such as food packaging, water treatment, oil and gas, and pharmaceuticals.

Key Functions of Oxygen Scavengers

  1. Prevention of Corrosion:

    • Oxygen can cause corrosion in metal pipes, tanks, and equipment. Oxygen scavengers react with dissolved oxygen to form inert compounds, thereby protecting metal surfaces from oxidative damage.

  2. Preservation of Food:

    • In food packaging, oxygen scavengers help extend the shelf life of perishable products by reducing the oxygen level within the packaging, thus inhibiting the growth of aerobic microorganisms and preventing oxidative spoilage.

  3. Protection of Pharmaceuticals


    • Pharmaceuticals and other sensitive products can degrade in the presence of oxygen. Oxygen scavengers help maintain product stability and efficacy by minimizing oxidative degradation.

  4. Improvement of Water Quality


    • In water treatment systems, oxygen scavengers are used to remove dissolved oxygen, which can otherwise lead to corrosion and scaling in boilers, cooling towers, and other equipment.

Common Types of Oxygen Scavengers

  1. Inorganic Oxygen Scavengers:

    • Sodium Sulfite (Na2SO3)

      : Commonly used in boiler water treatment to react with dissolved oxygen to form sodium sulfate.

    • Hydrazine (N2H4)

      : Used in high-temperature and high-pressure systems, hydrazine reacts with oxygen to form water and nitrogen.

    • Sodium Bisulfite (NaHSO3)

      : Often used in food packaging and water treatment to reduce oxygen levels.

  2. Organic Oxygen Scavengers


    • Ascorbic Acid (Vitamin C)

      : Used in food and beverage packaging to prevent oxidation.

    • Tannins

      : Natural organic compounds used in some water treatment applications to scavenge oxygen.

  3. Advanced and Specialty Oxygen Scavengers


    • Iron-Based Scavengers

      : Often used in oil and gas applications to remove oxygen from drilling fluids and production systems.

    • Enzyme-Based Scavengers

      : Used in some food packaging applications for their ability to rapidly reduce oxygen levels.

Application Areas

  1. Food and Beverage Packaging


    • Flexible Packaging

      : Oxygen scavengers are included in sachets, labels, or incorporated into the packaging material to protect products like meat, dairy, and baked goods.

    • Beverages

      : Oxygen scavengers are used in bottle caps and closures to prevent oxidation of beverages like beer and juice.

  2. Water Treatment


    • Boilers

      : Oxygen scavengers are essential in boiler feedwater treatment to prevent corrosion and scaling.

    • Cooling Systems

      : Used to protect cooling water systems from oxidative corrosion.

  3. Oil and Gas Industry


    • Drilling Fluids

      : Added to drilling muds to prevent corrosion of drilling equipment.

    • Production Systems

      : Used to protect pipelines, storage tanks, and processing equipment from oxidative damage.

  4. Pharmaceuticals and Healthcare


    • Drug Packaging

      : Used to maintain the stability and potency of oxygen-sensitive medications.

    • Medical Devices

      : Prevents oxidation and degradation of materials used in medical devices.

Precautions and Considerations

  1. Proper Dosage


    • Ensure the correct dosage to effectively remove oxygen without causing unwanted side reactions or excessive costs.

  2. Compatibility


    • Check compatibility with the system materials and other chemicals in use to prevent adverse reactions.

  3. Handling and Storage


    • Follow safety guidelines for handling and storing oxygen scavengers, as some can be hazardous if mishandled.

  4. Environmental Impact


    • Consider the environmental impact of the chosen oxygen scavenger and opt for environmentally friendly options when possible.


Oxygen scavengers are essential in various industries to prevent oxidative damage, extend the shelf life of products, and protect equipment. By effectively removing dissolved oxygen, these chemicals play a crucial role in maintaining the integrity and quality of materials and systems.

Product list
Contact us

TEL: +86-632-3671188

FAX: +86-632-3671189

E-mail: export@krchemical.com

ADD: No.1, Fuqian South Road, Xuecheng Chemical Industrial Park, Xuecheng District, Zaozhuang City, Shandong Province, China

TEL:+86-632-3671188   FAX:0632-4016677   Copyright © 2022-2023 Shandong Kairui Chemistry Co.,Ltd. All Rights Reserved.