Hydrogen peroxide is a highly unstable compound. Two hydrogen molecules combine with two oxygen molecules to form hydrogen peroxide. The chemical formula is therefore H2O2. Hydrogen peroxide is a pale blue, clear liquid that is slightly more viscous than pure water. It is the simplest of the peroxides. Hydrogen peroxide has basic uses as an oxidising agent, bleaching agent and preservative. Hydrogen peroxide is usually stored in weakly acidic solutions with stabilisers because it is unstable. It can be found in biological systems including the human body. XINLONGWEI introduces you to the structure, properties and some uses of hydrogen peroxide.
The structure of hydrogen peroxide is non-planar, which means that it has a three-dimensional quality. The structure of this compound is also commonly referred to as an open coil structure. The chemical formula for hydrogen peroxide is H2O2.
- When barium peroxide undergoes acidification and excess water is removed by a process of evaporation under reduced pressure, we obtain hydrogen peroxide.
- When the acidified sulphate solution is electrolysed at a high current density, the peroxydisulphate is obtained. Hydrolysis of the peroxodisulphate is then required to obtain hydrogen peroxide.
1,Hydrogen peroxide is almost colourless (very pale blue) in its pure state.
2,Its boiling point is deduced at temperatures up to 150.2 C, almost 50 C higher than the boiling point of water.
3,Hydrogen peroxide has a melting point of -0.43 C.
4,It forms a homogeneous mixture in water in all proportions and forms hydrates.
5,It has a slightly pungent odour.
6,Hydrogen peroxide is soluble in ether, alcohol and insoluble in petroleum ether.
When exposed to sunlight, hydrogen peroxide decomposes. This decomposition process is catalysed by trace amounts of alkali metals. Therefore, hydrogen peroxide can be stored in wax-lined glass or plastic containers and kept in the dark. It must also be kept away from dust particles, as dust can cause explosive decomposition of this compound.
Hydrogen peroxide has a variety of uses. Some of these are listed below.
1,Bleaching: Hydrogen peroxide is used as a bleaching agent in the textile and paper industries. Data show that approximately 60% of the world's hydrogen peroxide production is used for pulp and paper bleaching.
2,Detergents: One of the main industrial applications of this compound is the manufacture of sodium percarbonate and sodium perborate, which are used as mild bleaching agents in laundry detergents.
3,Production of organic compounds: Hydrogen peroxide is used to produce a variety of organic peroxides, of which dibenzoyl peroxide is an example. It is used in polymerisation reactions, as a flour bleaching agent and as a treatment for acne.
4,Hydrogen peroxide is used to disinfect various surfaces, including surgical instruments, and as a vapour for indoor disinfection.
5,Hydrogen peroxide is used as a propellant in the rocket industry. Rockets with hydrogen peroxide propulsion systems are used for jet returns.
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