Sodium percarbonate

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Sodium percarbonate
Crystal structure at 100 K [1]
IUPAC name
sodium carbonate—hydrogen peroxide (2/3)
Other names
Sodium carbonate peroxide,[2] sodium carbonate sesquiperhydrate, PCS, SPC, solid hydrogen peroxide, Sodium carbonate hydrogen peroxide, sodium carbonate peroxyhydrate
3D model (JSmol)
ECHA InfoCard 100.036.082 Edit this at Wikidata
EC Number
  • 239-707-6
RTECS number
  • FG0750000
  • InChI=1S/CH2O4.Na/c2-1(3)5-4;/h4H,(H,2,3);/q;+1/p-1 checkY
  • InChI=1S/CH2O4.Na/c2-1(3)5-4;/h4H,(H,2,3);/q;+1/p-1
  • [Na+].[O-]C(=O)OO
Na2CO3·1.5 H2O2
Molar mass 156.982 g/mol
Appearance White solid
150 g/l
Occupational safety and health (OHS/OSH):
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, or sodium carbonate peroxide 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.[3] 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[citation needed].


Sodium percarbonate was first prepared in 1899 by Russian chemist Sebastian Moiseevich Tanatar (7 October 1849 – 30 November 1917).[4]


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.[1]


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.[6][1][7] This is also a convenient laboratory method.

Alternatively, dry sodium carbonate may be treated directly with concentrated hydrogen peroxide solution.[8]

It may also be formed from a process starting from sodium peroxide; when absolute ethyl alcohol reacts with sodium peroxide at 0 °C, a perhydroxide is produced.[citation needed]

+ Na
→ O:NaOH + C

Carbon dioxide converts it into sodium hydrogen percarbonate.

World production capacity of this compound was estimated at several hundred thousand tons for 2004.[9]


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,[3] and Vanish.[5]

Many commercial products mix a percentage of sodium percarbonate with sodium carbonate. The average "Oxy" product in the supermarket contains 35–40% sodium percarbonate with about 5% active oxygen when titrated.

Sodium percarbonate is also used as a cleaning agent in homebrewing.[10]

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.[11] 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.[12][13]


  1. ^ a b c 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. PMID 14586079.
  2. ^ "Substance Name: Sodium carbonate peroxide". Retrieved 2021-09-09.{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: url-status (link)
  3. ^ a b c Craig W. Jones (1999). Applications of hydrogen peroxide and its derivatives. Royal Society of Chemistry. ISBN 0-85404-536-8.
  4. ^ Tanatar, S. (1899). "Percarbonate". Berichte der Deutschen Chemischen Gesellschaft zu Berlin (in German). 32 (2): 1544–1546. doi:10.1002/cber.18990320233.
  5. ^ 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).
  6. ^ 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
  7. ^ Alun P. James, Graham R. Horne, Richard Roesler, and others (1997): "Process for producing sodium percarbonate". US Patent US6231828B1, priority date 1997-03-26.
  8. ^ 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
  9. ^ 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.{{cite encyclopedia}}: CS1 maint: multiple names: authors list (link)
  10. ^ "Sodium Percarbonate". Retrieved 26 June 2020.
  11. ^ McKillop, A (1995). "Sodium perborate and sodium percarbonate: Cheap, safe and versatile oxidising agents for organic synthesis". Tetrahedron. 51 (22): 6145–6166. doi:10.1016/0040-4020(95)00304-Q.
  12. ^ 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.
  13. ^ Caster, Kenneth C.; Rao, A. Somasekar; Mohan, H. Rama; McGrath, Nicholas A.; Brichacek, Matthew (2012). "Trifluoroperacetic Acid". Encyclopedia of Reagents for Organic Synthesis. e-EROS Encyclopedia of Reagents for Organic Synthesis. doi:10.1002/047084289X.rt254.pub2. ISBN 978-0471936237.

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