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A ball-and-stick model of the peroxodisulfate anion
The structure of the peroxodisulfate anion

The peroxydisulfate ion, S
, is a oxyanion. It is commonly referred to as the persulfate ion or peroxodisulfate anions,[1] but this term also refers to the peroxomonosulfate ion, SO2−
. Approximately 500,000 tons of salts containing this anion are produced annually. Important salts include sodium persulfate (Na2S2O8), potassium persulfate (K2S2O8), and ammonium persulfate ((NH4)2S2O8). These salts are colourless, water-soluble solids that are strong oxidants.[2]


Salts of peroxydisulfate are mainly used to initiate the polymerization of various alkenes, including styrene, acrylonitrile, and fluoroalkenes. Polymerization is initiated by the homolysis of the peroxydisulfate:

[O3SO–OSO3]2− ⇌ 2 [SO4]•−

Moreover, sodium peroxydisulfate can be used for soil and groundwater remediation, water and wastewater treatment, and etching of copper on circuit boards.[3][1]

It has also been used to produce hair lighteners and bleaches, medical drugs, cellophane, rubber, soaps, detergents, adhesive papers, dyes for textiles, and in photography.[1]

In addition to its major commercial applications, peroxydisulfate participates in reactions of interest in the laboratory:


  1. ^ a b c Shafiee, Saiful Arifin; Aarons, Jolyon; Hamzah, Hairul Hisham (2018). "Electroreduction of Peroxodisulfate: A Review of a Complicated Reaction". Journal of the Electrochemical Society. ECS. 165 (13): H785–H798. doi:10.1149/2.1161811jes.
  2. ^ 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
  3. ^ Wacławek, S., Lutze, H. V., Grübel, K., Padil, V.V.T., Černík, M., Dionysiou, D.D. (2017). "Chemistry of persulfates in water and wastewater treatment: A review". doi:10.1016/j.cej.2017.07.132.