Peroxide

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A peroxide is a compound containing the peroxide anion (O22–) or an oxygen-oxygen single bond.[1] In contrast to oxide ions, the oxygen atoms in the peroxide ion have an oxidation state of −1.[2]

The simplest stable peroxide is hydrogen peroxide. Superoxides, dioxygenyls, ozones and ozonides compound are considered separately. Peroxide compounds can be roughly classified into organic and inorganic. Whereas the inorganic peroxides have an ionic, salt-like character, the organic peroxides are dominated by the covalent bonds. The oxygen-oxygen chemical bond of peroxide is unstable and easily split into reactive radicals via homolytic cleavage. For this reason, peroxides are found in nature only in small quantities, in water, atmosphere, plants, animals and human organism.

Peroxides have a bleaching effect on organic substances and therefore are added to some detergents and hair colorants. Other large-scale applications include medicine and chemical industry, where peroxides are used in various synthesis reactions or occur as intermediate products. With an annual production of over 2 million tonnes, hydrogen peroxide is the most economically important peroxide. Many peroxides are unstable and hazardous substances; they can not be stored and therefore are synthesized in situ and used immediately.

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