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10 little known facts about H2O2!

10: Hydrogen peroxide is believed to have been discovered in 1818 by French chemist Louis Jacques Thénard, but early attempts to separate the H2O2 from water failed due to trace impurities which caused the peroxide to decompose. Pure hydrogen peroxide was not obtained until 1894, using vacuum distillation.

9: One of the first uses of hydrogen peroxide was in the restoration of old paintings by removing sulphur compounds from their surfaces.

8: 60% of the world’s production of H2O2 is used in industry for pulp and paper bleaching. However, that’s not all it can be used for...

7: Some satellites use H2O2 in attitude controlled thrusters, which can be used to adjust their orientation, as it is easy to throttle and safer to fuel and handle before launch than other fuels.

6: Hydrogen peroxide reacts with certain esters, such as Cyalume and Phenyl Oxalate ester, to produce chemiluminescence – most commonly encountered in glow sticks!

5: H2O2 is naturally occurring in the atmosphere when ozone (or trioxide) comes into contact with water. Ozone is unstable and on contact with water the additional oxygen molecule will split from the trioxide and join to the H2O, resulting in the more common dioxide (or O2) and hydrogen peroxide. The resultant H2O2 is present in small quantities in rain water, which may explain why….

4: H2O2 is highly effective when used in a weak solution to water plants, as it spontaneously decomposes releasing oxygen than can enhance root development and treat root rot.

3: In the natural world, H2O2 is one of the two main defensive weapons of the Bombardier beetle. They combine the hydrogen peroxide with hydroquinone at high temperatures to produce a spray which is often fatal to their attackers.

2: White blood cells also naturally produce hydrogen peroxide to fight bacteria and infections, which goes a long way to explain why…

1: H2O2 is widely used as a disinfectant. Not only does it have bacteria and other microbial killing properties but it also decomposes naturally into water and oxygen, making it safer to use than other widely available disinfectants such as Chlorine and Formaldehyde.

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