Hydrogen peroxide (H₂O₂)
The compound of hydrogen and oxygen. Colourless, odourless liquid; heavier than water.
hydrogen peroxide, oxidant, disinfectant, bleach, bleaching, break down, inorganic chemistry, chemistry
Hydrogen peroxide H₂O₂
Molar mass: 34.014 g/mol
Melting point: -0.41 °C
Boiling point: 150.2 °C
Density (at 25 °C): 1.4 g/cm³
Hydrogen-peroxide is a colourless, odourless liquid at room temperature. Its vapour irritates the eyes and nose. It mixes with water in all proportions due to hydrogen bonding between molecules. It is more dense and more viscous than water. In the molecule the two oxygen atoms are linked by a weak peroxo bond, and therefore the molecule breaks down easily. This process is catalysed by certain metals, metal compounds and heat. During the breakdown, water and nascent oxygen are formed. It is thus a strong oxidant. It removes the colour of coloured materials.
Occurrence and production
Hydrogen peroxide is produced in the presence of catalysts in the chemical industry.
Formerly, it was used for bleaching hair; nowadays this is rarely practised. It is used to disinfect textiles, leather, cellulose pulp and fibres, and it is a key ingredient in the manufacture of household detergents and various organic compounds. It is increasingly important in environmental protection, for instance in household and industrial waste as well as in waste water management and purification.
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