Sodium percarbonate

Sodium percarbonate is a chemical substance with formula Na
. It is an adduct of sodium carbonate ("soda ash" or "washing soda") and hydrogen peroxide (that is, a perhydrate) whose formula is more properly written as 2 Na
 · 3 H
. It is a colorless, crystalline, hygroscopic and water-soluble solid.[1] It is sometimes abbreviated as SPC. It contains 32.5% by weight of hydrogen peroxide.

The product is used in some eco-friendly bleaches and other cleaning products, and as a laboratory source of anhydrous hydrogen peroxide.

Sodium percarbonate
IUPAC name
sodium carbonate—hydrogen peroxide (2/3)
Other names
sodium carbonate sesquiperhydrate, PCS, SPC, solid hydrogen peroxide, Sodium carbonate hydrogen peroxide, sodium carbonate peroxyhydrate
3D model (JSmol)
ECHA InfoCard 100.036.082
EC Number
  • 239-707-6
RTECS number
  • FG0750000
Na2CO3·1.5 H2O2
Molar mass 156.982 g/mol
Appearance white solid
150 g/l
Main hazards Irritant, Oxidizer
Flash point Non-flammable
Related compounds
Other anions
Sodium carbonate
Sodium bicarbonate
Other cations
Calcium percarbonate
Magnesium percarbonate
Related compounds
Sodium perborate
Sodium persulfate
Sodium perphosphate
Except where otherwise noted, data are given for materials in their standard state (at 25 °C [77 °F], 100 kPa).


Sodium percarbonate was first prepared in 1899 by Russian chemist Sebastian Moiseevich Tanatar (Russian: Севастьян Моисеевич Танатар) (7 October 1849, Odessa – 30 November 1917, Odessa).[2]


At room temperature, solid sodium percarbonate has the orthorhombic crystal structure, with the Cmca crystallographic space group. The structure changes to Pbca as the crystals are cooled below about −30 °C.[3]


Dissolved in water, sodium percarbonate yields a mixture of hydrogen peroxide (which eventually decomposes to water and oxygen), sodium cations Na+
, and carbonate CO2−


Sodium percarbonate is produced industrially by crystallization of a solution of sodium carbonate and hydrogen peroxide, with proper control of the pH and concentrations.[5][3][6] This is also a convenient laboratory method.

Alternatively, dry sodium carbonate may be treated directly with concentrated hydrogen peroxide solution.[7]

World production capacity of this compound was estimated at several hundred thousand tonnes for 2004.[8]


As an oxidizing agent, sodium percarbonate is an ingredient in a number of home and laundry cleaning products, including non-chlorine bleach products such as Oxyper, OxiClean, Tide laundry detergent,[1] and Vanish.[4]

Many commercial products mix a percentage of sodium percarbonate with sodium carbonate. The average percentage of an "Oxy" product in the supermarket is 65% sodium percarbonate and 35% sodium carbonate. The "ultra boosters" seen on infomercials may contain as much as 80% sodium percarbonate. However, sodium percarbonate is less expensive in its pure form and can be adjusted to any percentage the user desires.

Sodium percarbonate can be used in organic synthesis as a convenient source of anhydrous H2O2, in particular in solvents that cannot dissolve the carbonate but can leach the H2O2 out of it.[9] A method for generating trifluoroperacetic acid in situ for use in Baeyer–Villiger oxidations from sodium percarbonate and trifluoroacetic anhydride has been reported; it provides a convenient and cheap approach to this reagent without the need to obtain highly concentrated hydrogen peroxide.[10][11]


  1. ^ a b c Craig W. Jones (1999). Applications of hydrogen peroxide and its derivatives. Royal Society of Chemistry. ISBN 0-85404-536-8.
  2. ^ S. Tanatar (1899) "Percarbonate", Berichte der Deutschen chemischen Gesellschaft zu Berlin, 32 : 1544–1546.
  3. ^ a b R. G. Pritchard & E. Islam (2003). "Sodium percarbonate between 293 and 100 K". Acta Crystallographica Section B. B59 (5): 596–605. doi:10.1107/S0108768103012291.
  4. ^ a b "Oxygen-based bleaches Archived 2012-01-24 at the Wayback Machine", The Royal Society of Chemistry, and Reckitt Benckiser (the manufacturers of Vanish).
  5. ^ J. M. Adams and R. G. Pritchard (1977): "The crystal structure of sodium percarbonate: an unusual layered solid". Acta Crystallographica Section B, volume B33, issue 12, pages 3650–3653. doi:10.1107/S0567740877011790
  6. ^ Alun P. James, Graham R. Horne, Richard Roesler, and others (1997): "Process for producing sodium percarbonate". US Patent US6231828B1, priority date 1997-03-26.
  7. ^ Sang Ryul Kim, Chong Yun Kwag, Hwan Kee Heo, Jong-Pill Lee (1996): "Process for manufacturing granular sodium percarbonate". US Patent US5851420A, priority date 1996-02-29
  8. ^ Harald Jakob, Stefan Leininger, Thomas Lehmann, Sylvia Jacobi, Sven Gutewort. "Peroxo Compounds, Inorganic". Ullmann's Encyclopedia of Industrial Chemistry. Weinheim: Wiley-VCH. doi:10.1002/14356007.a19_177.pub2.CS1 maint: multiple names: authors list (link)
  9. ^ McKillop, A (1995). "Sodium perborate and sodium percarbonate: Cheap, safe and versatile oxidising agents for organic synthesis". Tetrahedron. 51 (22): 6145. doi:10.1016/0040-4020(95)00304-Q.
  10. ^ Kang, Ho-Jung; Jeong, Hee-Sun (1996). "New Method of Generating Trifluoroperoxyacetic acid for the Baeyer-Villiger Reaction". Bull. Korean Chem. Soc. 17 (1): 5–6.
  11. ^ Caster, Kenneth C.; Rao, A. Somasekar; Mohan, H. Rama; McGrath, Nicholas A.; Brichacek, Matthew (2012). "Trifluoroperacetic Acid". e-EROS Encyclopedia of Reagents for Organic Synthesis. doi:10.1002/047084289X.rt254.pub2.

External links

Alkali salt

Alkali salts or basic salts are salts that are the product of the neutralization of a strong base and a weak acid.

Rather than being neutral (as some other salts), alkali salts are bases as their name suggests. What makes these compounds basic is that the conjugate base from the weak acid hydrolyzes to form a basic solution. In sodium carbonate, for example, the carbonate from the carbonic acid hydrolyzes to form a basic solution. The chloride from the hydrochloric acid in sodium chloride does not hydrolyze, though, so sodium chloride is not basic.

The difference between a basic salt and an alkali is that an alkali is the soluble hydroxide compound of an alkali metal or an alkaline earth metal. A basic salt is any salt that hydrolyzes to form a basic solution.

Another definition of a basic salt would be a salt that contains amounts of both hydroxide and other anions. White lead is an example. It is basic lead carbonate, or lead carbonate hydroxide.

These materials are known for their high levels of dissolution in polar solvents.

These salts are insoluble and are obtained through precipitation reactions.


A bactericide or bacteriocide, sometimes abbreviated Bcidal, is a substance that kills bacteria. Bactericides are disinfectants, antiseptics, or antibiotics.


Bleach is the generic name for any chemical product which is used industrially and domestically to clean, to lighten hair color and to remove stains. It often refers, specifically, to a dilute solution of sodium hypochlorite, also called "liquid bleach".

Many bleaches have broad spectrum bactericidal properties, making them useful for disinfecting and sterilizing and are used in swimming pool sanitation to control bacteria, viruses, and algae and in many places where sterile conditions are required. They are also used in many industrial processes, notably in the bleaching of wood pulp. Bleaches also have other minor uses like removing mildew, killing weeds, and increasing the longevity of cut flowers.Bleaches work by reacting with many colored organic compounds, such as natural pigments, and turning them into colorless ones. While most bleaches are oxidizing agents (chemicals that can remove electrons from other molecules), some are reducing agents (that donate electrons).

Chlorine, a powerful oxidizer, is the active agent in many household bleaches. Since pure chlorine is a toxic corrosive gas, these products usually contain hypochlorite which releases chlorine when needed. "Bleaching powder" usually means a formulation containing calcium hypochlorite.

Oxidizing bleaching agents that do not contain chlorine are usually based on peroxides such as hydrogen peroxide, sodium percarbonate, and sodium perborate. These bleaches are called 'non-chlorine bleach,' 'oxygen bleach' or 'color-safe bleach.'Reducing bleaches have niche uses, such as sulfur dioxide used to bleach wool, either as gas or from solutions of sodium dithionite; and sodium borohydride.

Bleaches generally react with many other organic substances besides the intended colored pigments, so they can weaken or damage natural materials like fibers, cloth, and leather, and intentionally applied dyes such as the indigo of denim. For the same reason, ingestion of the products, breathing of the fumes, or contact with skin or eyes can cause health damage.

Bleach activator

Bleach activators are compounds that allow a lower washing temperature than would be required otherwise to achieve the full activity of bleaching agents in the wash liquor. Bleaching agents, usually peroxides, are usually sufficiently active only from 60 °C on. With bleach activators, this activity can already be achieved at lower temperatures. Bleach activators react with hydrogen peroxide in aqueous solution to form peroxy acids, they are a component of most laundry detergents. Peroxy acids are more active bleaches than hydrogen peroxide at lower temperatures (<60 °C) but are too unstable to be stored in their active form and hence must be generated in situ.

The most common bleach activators used commercially are tetraacetylethylenediamine (TAED) and sodium nonanoyloxybenzenesulfonate (NOBS). NOBS is the main activator used in the U.S.A. and Japan, TAED is the main activator used in Europe.

Cillit Bang

Cillit Bang ( ) (sold in some countries as Easy-Off Bam or Easy-Off Bang) is the brand name of a range of cleaning products sold by the consumer products manufacturer Reckitt Benckiser. The products marketed under the brand name include a degreaser, cleaning crystals, and a grime, rust, mould and limescale remover.

Cleaning agent

Cleaning agents are substances (usually liquids, powders, sprays, or granules) used to remove dirt, including dust, stains, bad smells, and clutter on surfaces. Purposes of cleaning agents include health, beauty, removing offensive odor, and avoiding the spread of dirt and contaminants to oneself and others. Some cleaning agents can kill bacteria (e.g. door handle bacteria, as well as bacteria on worktops and other metallic surfaces) and clean at the same time. Others, called degreasers, contain organic solvents to help dissolve oils and fats.

Methylrhenium trioxide

Methylrhenium trioxide, also known as methyltrioxorhenium, is an organometallic compound with the formula CH3ReO3. It is a volatile, colourless solid that has been used as a catalyst in some laboratory experiments. In this compound, Re has a tetrahedral coordination geometry with one methyl and three oxo ligands. The oxidation state of rhenium is +7.


OxiClean is a line of household cleaners, including OxiClean Versatile Stain Remover, which is a laundry additive, spot stain remover, and household cleaner marketed by Church & Dwight. It was formerly owned by Orange Glo International from 1997 until it was acquired in 2006.


Oxyper is a Solvay coated and stabilised sodium carbonate peroxyhydrate (or sodium percarbonate) which combines the properties of sodium carbonate and hydrogen peroxide. It is an odorless, crystalline, white powder used, when dissolved in water, in cleaning and bleaching applications and as a beer keg and line cleaner. It is a brand name of the Solvay S.A. Corporation, headquartered in Brussels.


In chemistry, peroxycarbonate (sometimes peroxocarbonate) is a divalent anion with formula CO2−4. It is an oxocarbon anion that consists solely of carbon and oxygen. It would be the anion of a hypothetical peroxocarbonic acid HO–CO–O–OH or the real hydroperoxyformic acid, HO-O-CO-OH (a.k.a. percarbonic acid, carbonoperoxoic acid).

The peroxycarbonate anion is formed, together with peroxydicarbonate C2O2−6, at the negative electrode during electrolysis of molten lithium carbonate. Lithium peroxycarbonate can be produced also by combining carbon dioxide CO2 with lithium hydroxide in concentrated hydrogen peroxide H2O2 at −10 °C.The peroxycarbonate anion has been proposed as an intermediate to explain the catalytic effect of CO2 on the oxidation of organic compounds by O2.The potassium and rubidium salts of the monovalent hydrogenperoxocarbonate anion H–O–O–CO−2 have also been obtained.


In chemistry, peroxydicarbonate (sometimes peroxodicarbonate) is a divalent anion with formula C2O2−6. It is one of the oxocarbon anions, which consist solely of carbon and oxygen. Its molecular structure can be viewed as two carbonate anions joined so as to form a peroxide bridge –O–O–.

The anion is formed, together with peroxocarbonate CO2−4, at the negative electrode during electrolysis of molten lithium carbonate. The anion can also be obtained by electrolysis of a saturated solution of rubidium carbonate in water.Potassium peroxydicarbonate K2C2O6 was obtained by Constam and von Hansen in 1895; its crystal structure was determined only in 2002. It too can be obtained by electrolysis of a saturated potassium carbonate solution at −20 °C. It is a light blue crystalline solid that decomposes at 141 °C, releasing oxygen and carbon dioxide, and decomposes slowly at lower temperatures.Rubidium peroxodicarbonate is a light blue crystalline solid that decomposes at 424 K (151 °C). Its structure was published in 2003. In both salts, each of the two carbonate units is planar. In the rubidium salt the whole molecule is planar, whereas in the potassium salt the two units lie on different and nearly perpendicular planes, both of which contain the O–O bond.

Persil Power

Persil Power was a laundry detergent product developed and sold in the mid-1990s by Unilever.

In the early 1990s, Unilever's Persil detergent risked losing its market-leading position as independent tests were showing the major brands to have relatively similar performance in removing stains. Unilever decided that they needed a product with an edge in stain removal. Persil's main competitor, Ariel, had recently introduced Ariel Ultra, the first of the "super compacts" - washing powders equipped with chemical catalysts which (according to the advertising) cleaned better than ever, with less powder. Given Ariel Ultra's success, and with Persil Micro System lagging, Unilever needed a new super-compact Persil line. Thus, Persil Power was conceived.

Unilever's research teams found a manganese(IV)-based catalyst that sped up the decomposition of sodium perborate and sodium percarbonate which act as bleaches in the washing process, increasing the cleaning performance noticeably and allowing use of lower temperatures. Unilever decided that the bleaching agents would be an ideal addition to the product, but had worries over such a major alteration to the formula of one of their main products (a high profile example of this being New Coke, with a more direct example being in the late 1980s when one of Persil's competitors, Daz, introduced a new formula that also increased cleaning performance, but caused allergic reactions in a small but noticeable percentage of the population). To this end they decided to split the catalyst agent (together with some fabric softening agents) into a new product, Persil Power. In May 1994, Persil Power was launched with a large publicity campaign, but a number of problems soon became apparent.

Despite the large publicity campaign, the sales of Persil and Persil Power did not significantly increase, because Persil by itself was capable of dealing with most stains. The most serious problem was that after a few washes with Persil Power, clothes first started to lose their colour definition and then their structural integrity, ripping easily under any significant stress. Effectively, washing clothes in Persil Power had the same effect as adding bleach to the clothes. Further testing determined that while the effects weren't apparent on new clothes (which Unilever had performed most of Persil Power's testing with) they could become very quickly apparent on older clothes. The effects were largely determined to be due to Persil Power being

a little too powerful in the recommended quantities, and a chemical reaction (which Unilever had not detected) occurring between the catalyst agents and dyes used commonly in clothes. Subsequently, a hasty reformulation with less catalyst was released, but that too was suspected of causing problems and was equally mired by the bad publicity.

Considering the embarrassment the episode had caused Unilever and the prohibitive cost of redesigning the product, they decided to issue a product recall and then simply abandon the brand. A number of lawsuits were issued against Unilever by retail chains and consumers, but the vast majority of them were settled outside of court. Afterwards, Persil were able to refine their main product's formula enough to produce comparable cleaning performance without needing a catalyst. This led to a relaunch of the super-compact format as "New Generation Persil".


Pyridine-N-oxide is the heterocyclic compound with the formula C5H5NO. This colourless, hygroscopic solid is the product of the oxidation of pyridine. It was originally prepared using peroxyacids as the oxidising agent. The molecule is planar. The compound is used infrequently as an oxidizing reagent in organic synthesis. It also serves as a ligand in coordination chemistry.

Roof cleaning

Roof cleaning is the process of removing algae, mold, mildew, lichen and moss from roofs. Also cleaning oxidation on metal roofs. Cleaning can extend the duration of a roof's ability to function. Algae and other types of build-up often form on the north and west parts of roofs that are shaded or receive less sun, and can reduce a roof's life expectancy. The presence of soot, dirt, or biomass can affect how much sunlight is absorbed by a roof and thus the amount of heat a building absorbs.Cleaning may be accomplished with a bleach or sodium percarbonate solution, various cleaning products or commercial cleaning services. The Asphalt Roofing Manufacturers Association (ARMA) recommends using a 50/50 solution of 12.5% sodium hypochlorite (pool chlorine) and water to remove moss and algae. The addition of zinc strips near the roof's peak may reduce the regrowth of algae and moss. Zinc sulfate can also be applied on an annual basis.

Sodium nonanoyloxybenzenesulfonate

Sodium nonanoyloxybenzenesulfonate (NOBS) is an important component of laundry detergents and bleaches. It is known as a bleach activator for active oxygen sources, allowing formulas containing hydrogen peroxide releasing chemicals (specifically sodium perborate, sodium percarbonate, sodium perphosphate, sodium persulfate, and urea peroxide) to effect bleaching at lower temperatures.

Sodium perborate

Sodium perborate is chemical compound whose chemical formula may be written NaH2BO4, Na2H4B2O8, or, more properly, [Na+]2·[B2O4(OH)4]2−. Its name is sometimes abbreviated as PBS.

The compound is commonly encountered in anhydrous form or as a hexahydrate (commonly called "monohydrate" or PBS-1 and "tetrahydrate" or PBS-4, after the early assumption that NaBO3 would be the anhydrous form). They are both white, odorless, water-soluble solids.This salt is widely used in laundry detergents, as one of the peroxide-based bleaches.

Sodium peroxycarbonate

Sodium peroxycarbonate or Sodium percarbonate, Sodium permonocarbonate is a chemical compound, a peroxycarbonate of sodium, with formula Na2CO4

Toilet rim block

A toilet rim block is a block-shaped substance used in flush toilets which slowly dissolves in water. They often come in a small holder that is attached over the rim of a toilet and hangs down into the bowl, so as the toilet gets flushed, the water passes through the holder coming into contact with the block.

However, they also come loose for placement directly in-cistern (so are also usable with squat toilets), although these tend to be slightly different in composition, so as to dissolve slower, due to the constant contact with water. These may also contain a colorant, which shows up in the water (typically blue or green).

In 'liquid rims' the liquid is held in a small bottle above and connected to the holder slowly releasing the liquid into the bottom of the holder which is beneath the toilet rim, so coming into contact with the water when the toilet is flushed.

Sodium compounds


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