Sodium percarbonate

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Sodium percarbonate
Sodium percarbonate.svg
IUPAC name
sodium carbonate—hydrogen peroxide (2/3)
Other names
sodium carbonate sesquiperhydrate, PCS, solid hydrogen peroxide, Sodium carbonate hydrogen peroxide, sodium carbonate peroxyhydrate
15630-89-4 YesY
ChemSpider 13399092 YesY
EC Number 239-707-6
Jmol interactive 3D Image
PubChem 159762
RTECS number FG0750000
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).
N verify (what is YesYN ?)
Infobox references

Sodium percarbonate is a chemical, an adduct of sodium carbonate and hydrogen peroxide (a perhydrate), with formula 2Na2CO3 · 3H2O2. It is a colorless, crystalline, hygroscopic and water-soluble solid.[1] It is used in some eco-friendly cleaning products and as a laboratory source of anhydrous hydrogen peroxide.

This product contains the carbonate anion, and should not be confused with sodium peroxocarbonate Na2CO4 or peroxodicarbonate Na2C2O6, which contain different anions.

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


Sodium percarbonate is produced industrially by reaction of sodium carbonate and hydrogen peroxide, followed by crystallization. Also, dry sodium carbonate may be treated directly with concentrated hydrogen peroxide solution. World production capacity of this compound was estimated at several hundred thousand tonnes for 2004.[4] It can be obtained in the laboratory by treating the two substances in aqueous solution with proper control of the pH[5] or concentrations.[3]


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 OxiClean, Tide laundry detergent,[1] and Vanish.[6] Dissolved in water, it yields a mixture of hydrogen peroxide (which eventually decomposes to water and oxygen) and sodium carbonate ("soda ash").[1]

2Na2CO3.3H2O2 → 2Na2CO3 + 3H2O2 [6]

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.[7]

Commercial products[edit]


  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 and E. Islam (2003). "Sodium percarbonate between 293 and 100 K". Acta Crystallographica Section B B59 (5): 596–605. doi:10.1107/S0108768103012291. 
  4. ^ Harald Jakob, Stefan Leininger, Thomas Lehmann, Sylvia Jacobi, Sven Gutewort (2005), "Peroxo Compounds, Inorganic", Ullmann's Encyclopedia of Industrial Chemistry, Weinheim: Wiley-VCH, doi:10.1002/14356007.a19_177.pub2 
  5. ^ J. M. Adams and R. G. Pritchard (1977). "The crystal structure of sodium percarbonate: an unusual layered solid". Acta Crystallographica Section B B33 (12): 3650–3653. doi:10.1107/S0567740877011790. 
  6. ^ a b "Oxygen-based bleaches", The Royal Society of Chemistry, and Reckitt Benckiser (the manufacturers of Vanish)
  7. ^ 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. 

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