Hydrogen peroxide

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Hydrogen peroxide
Chemical formula H2O2
OTP appearance colorless liquid 
Molar Mass(g/mol) 34 
Density(g/cc) 1.135 
Melting Point(°C) -0.43 
Boiling Point(°C) 150
NFPA 704


Justification Questioned


  • Aids in the production of nitric and sulfuric acids.
  • Combined with sulfuric acid produces pirahna solution useful in metal extraction
  • Rapidly catalyzed decomposition is enormously exothermic and can be used as rocket fuel, etc
  • A potent oxidizer used to convert halide ions to halide molecules
  • Pharm: rapid injection into puncture wounds prevents tetanus.

Natural Occurrence

  • Does occur naturally in very tiny amounts in plants and animals.


  • Contact with metals can result in a self-catalyzing decomposition, producing a lot of thermal energy and and abundance of gaseous pxygen: A bad combination.
    2 H2O2
    2 H2O + O2
  • Contact with organics can result in sensitive (primary-explosive) organic peroxides
    e.g. TATP



Barium Peroxide

phosphoric acid
sulfuric acid

Sodium peroxide


Sulfuric Acid

See [2] and [3]

Ammonium bisulfate

Electrolysis of a chilled (10°C) acidic (H2SO4) solution of ammonium bisulfate[4] produces ammonium persulfate and hydrogen, which escapes. The persulfate decomposes to hydrogen peroxide and sulfuric acid, which recombines with the ammonium cations to reconstitute the original ammonium bisulfate.

2 NH4HSO4 (NH4)2S2O8 + H2
(NH4)2S2O8 + 2 H2O 2 NH4HSO4 + H2O2
NET: 2 H2O H2O2 + H2



  1. Prepare a saturated solution of barium hydroxide
  2. Add dilute hydrogen peroxide, precipitating a stochiometric amount of barium peroxide
    Ba(OH)2 + H2O2 BaO2(s) + 2 H2O
  3. Filter and discard filtrate, retaining the residue of barium peroxide
  4. Add filtrate to concentrated sulfuric acid, producing concentrated hydrogen peroxide and barium sulfate
    BaO2 + H2SO4 BaSO4 + H2O2
    Would hydrogen sulfide work as well?
    BaO2 + H2S BaS + H2O2 // would this work?


  • It can be "stored" in solid form in percarbonates and perborates and quickly reconstituted by heating.
  • aqueous concentrations below 5% can be stored in normal plastic and glass containers
  • aqueous concentrations of 30% or higher must take great care to exclude metal and organic debris in the container. Metals can catalyze decomposition and organics can form very sensitive (primary explosive) peroxides.


See Also


  1. Dönges, E. (1963) "Lithium and Sodium Peroxides".
    Handbook of Preparative Inorganic Chemistry 1; pp979. 
  2. US patent 1847492 "Manufacture of hydrogen peroxide"
    Link courtesy Google
  3. US patent 3884778 "Electrolytic production of hydrogen peroxide and alkali metal hydroxide"
    Link courtesy Google
  4. US patent 2234908 "Manufacture of hydrogen peroxide", 1937
    Link courtesy Google