Add to MyChemicals Print Friendly Page
Reactive Group Datasheet

Peroxides, Organic

What are reactive groups?

Reactive groups are categories of chemicals that typically react in similar ways because they are similar in their chemical structure. Each substance with a chemical datasheet has been assigned to one or more reactive groups, and CAMEO Chemicals uses the reactive group assignments to make its reactivity predictions. More info about reactivity predictions...

If you can't find a chemical in the database--but you know what reactive group it belongs in--you can add the reactive group to MyChemicals instead in order to see the reactivity predictions.

There are 115 chemical datasheets assigned to this reactive group.


Generally, materials in this group are readily combustible. They behave as strong oxidants and therefore accelerate the combustion of other materials by providing molecular oxygen to the combustion site. Many peroxides are unstable and subject to explosive decomposition when shocked, heated, or rubbed. Explosions of peroxides have caused many fatal accidents.
Peroxides are good oxidizing agents. Some organic compounds can ignite on contact with concentrated peroxides. Fully reduced material such as inorganic sulfides, nitrides, and hydrides may react explosively with peroxides. There are few chemical classes that do not at least produce heat when mixed with peroxides. Many produce explosions or generate gases (toxic and nontoxic). Generally, dilute solutions of peroxides (<70%) are safe, but the presence of a catalyst (often a transition metal such as cobalt, iron, manganese, nickel, or vanadium) as an impurity can cause rapid decomposition, a build-up of heat, and even an explosion. Solutions of peroxides often become explosive when evaporated to dryness or near-dryness.

Benzoyl peroxide undergoes a thermal decomposition to CO2, BzOH, C6H6 (and other hydrocarbons) and diphenyl ether. (Uetake, et. Al. Chem. Abs. 1974. 81 5175) O2 gas may also be released from the decomposition of organic peroxides (Davies, A. G. Organic Peroxides. London: Butterworths, 1961. pp. 171). Additionally, some may liberate aldehydes upon decomposition as well, such as dimethyl peroxide which gives formaldehyde upon decomposition (Rodd, E. H, Ed. Chemistry of Organic Compounds. New York: Elsevier Publishing Company, 1951. Vol. Ia pp. 327).
Often highly toxic and irritating to the skin, eyes, and mucous membranes.
Other Characteristics
Peroxides are characterized by the presence of an O-O single bond (peroxide linkage). The structure of the simplest peroxide, hydrogen peroxide (H2O2), is H-O-O-H. As an inorganic peroxide, hydrogen peroxide is covered under Inorganic Oxidizing Agents (Reactivity Group 44). Organic peroxides are derived by the replacement of one or both of the H atoms in this compound by organic groups. Hydroperoxides result from the replacement of just one of the H atoms by an organic group. Thus, ethyl hydroperoxide has the formula C2H5-O-O-H. Some organic compounds form dangerous levels of explosive peroxides by autoxidation when exposed to air during storage. These peroxides generally form slowly and are explosive when taken to dryness. Many peroxide solutions are inhibited to prevent decomposition to give oxygen and other products. Such reactions are often catalyzed by impurities in the absence of inhibition. When it occurs, such decompositions release very reactive free radicals that can initiate other reactions: peroxides are widely used as polymerization initiators. Peroxides are used in the paper industry (for bleaching), in making textiles (for bleaching), as oxidizers in organic synthesis reactions, as blowing agents, and in propellant formulations.
Benzoyl peroxide, peroxybenzoic acid, acetyl peroxide, cumene hydroperoxide, cyclohexanone peroxide, octanyl peroxide, diacetone alcohol peroxide.

Reactivity Documentation

Use the links below to find out how this reactive group interacts with any of the reactive groups in the database.

The predicted hazards and gas byproducts for each reactive group pair will be displayed, as well as documentation and references that were used to make the reactivity predictions.

Mix Peroxides, Organic with: