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Peroxide vs. Hydrogen Peroxide — What's the Difference?

By Tayyaba Rehman — Published on November 24, 2023
Peroxide refers to any compound containing the peroxide anion (O2^2-). Hydrogen Peroxide (H2O2) is a specific chemical compound, a pale blue liquid, which is a well-known disinfectant.
Peroxide vs. Hydrogen Peroxide — What's the Difference?

Difference Between Peroxide and Hydrogen Peroxide

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Key Differences

Anionic Definition: Peroxide denotes an anion comprised of two oxygen atoms linked together. This broad category encompasses various chemical compounds. Hydrogen Peroxide, on the other hand, signifies a specific compound where two hydrogen atoms are attached to the peroxide anion.
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Nov 24, 2023
Uses and Applications: Peroxides, in a general sense, find applications across various industries and can be components in different compounds. Hydrogen Peroxide, as a distinct substance, is frequently used as an antiseptic, bleach, and in rocket propellants.
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Chemical Properties: All peroxides possess the characteristic O-O bond, which is a defining feature of this group of compounds. Hydrogen Peroxide, being a member of this group, exhibits this bond but is unique in its ability to break down into water and oxygen.
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Nov 24, 2023
Safety and Handling: While many peroxides can be unstable and pose safety concerns, Hydrogen Peroxide's reactivity and concentration determine its safety level. At low concentrations, it's used for wound cleaning, but at high concentrations, it can be hazardous.
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Occurrence: Peroxide as a group can occur naturally or be synthesized in labs. Hydrogen Peroxide, in specific, can form naturally in small amounts in the atmosphere and in living organisms as a byproduct of biochemical reactions.
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Nov 24, 2023
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Comparison Chart

Definition

An anion of two oxygen atoms (O2^2-).
A chemical compound (H2O2) with peroxide anion.
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Uses

Various, depending on the compound.
Antiseptic, bleach, rocket propellant.
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Chemical Bond

Contains O-O bond.
Contains O-O and H-O bonds.
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Safety

Depends on the specific compound.
Concentration-dependent, from safe to hazardous.
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Occurrence

Natural or synthesized.
Naturally in the atmosphere and living organisms.
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Compare with Definitions

Peroxide

An anion consisting of two oxygen atoms bonded together.
The O-O bond is characteristic of a Peroxide.
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Oct 06, 2023

Hydrogen Peroxide

The chemical compound with the formula H2O2.
Hydrogen Peroxide breaks down into water and oxygen.
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Oct 06, 2023

Peroxide

A general term for compounds with an O2^2- ion.
Peroxide levels need to be monitored for safety.
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Oct 06, 2023

Hydrogen Peroxide

A bleaching agent used in many industries.
Hydrogen Peroxide is an ingredient in some hair dyes.
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Oct 06, 2023

Peroxide

A reactive oxygen species.
The Peroxide molecule can break down under certain conditions.
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Hydrogen Peroxide

A pale blue liquid used as a disinfectant.
I cleaned the wound with Hydrogen Peroxide.
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Oct 06, 2023

Peroxide

A substance with a higher oxidation state of oxygen.
Benzoyl Peroxide is used in acne treatments.
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Hydrogen Peroxide

A versatile oxidizer.
Due to its properties, Hydrogen Peroxide is used in wastewater treatment.
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Peroxide

The divalent O2 group, or a compound containing this group, such as sodium peroxide, Na2O2, used as an oxidizing agent or bleach.
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Hydrogen Peroxide

An antiseptic used in various medical applications.
She applied Hydrogen Peroxide to prevent infection.
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Peroxide

Hydrogen peroxide.
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Peroxide

To treat with peroxide.
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Peroxide

To bleach (hair) with hydrogen peroxide.
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Peroxide

(inorganic chemistry) A divalent radical or anion containing two oxygen atoms linked by a covalent bond; any substance containing this group which yields hydrogen peroxide when treated with an acid.
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Peroxide

Hydrogen peroxide, especially when in an aqueous solution used as a bleach.
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Peroxide

(organic chemistry) Any compound containing the functional group R-O-O-R'.
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Peroxide

(transitive) To treat (something) with hydrogen peroxide, especially hair in order to bleach it.
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Peroxide

An oxide containing more oxygen than some other oxide of the same element. Formerly peroxides were regarded as the highest oxides. Cf. Per-, 2.
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Peroxide

A viscous liquid with strong oxidizing properties; a powerful bleaching agent; also used as a disinfectant and (in strong concentrations) as an oxidant in rocket fuels
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Peroxide

An inorganic compound containing the divalent ion -O-O-
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Peroxide

Bleach with peroxide;
She must peroxide her hair-it looks unnaturally blond
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Peroxide

A compound containing the peroxide group.
Some hair dyes contain Peroxide to bleach hair.
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Common Curiosities

How should Hydrogen Peroxide be stored?

Hydrogen Peroxide should be stored in a cool, dark place in a well-sealed container.
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Can I use Hydrogen Peroxide to bleach my hair?

Yes, but always follow guidelines and consider professional consultation.
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What makes peroxides reactive?

The O-O bond in peroxides is unstable and can break easily, making them reactive.
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What is the primary difference between Peroxide and Hydrogen Peroxide?

Peroxide refers to any compound with the peroxide anion, while Hydrogen Peroxide is a specific chemical compound.
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Can you drink Hydrogen Peroxide?

No, ingesting concentrated Hydrogen Peroxide can be dangerous.
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What happens when Hydrogen Peroxide expires?

It breaks down into water and oxygen, reducing its efficacy.
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Can all peroxides be used as disinfectants?

No, only specific ones like Hydrogen Peroxide have disinfectant properties.
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Is Hydrogen Peroxide safe for skin?

In low concentrations, Hydrogen Peroxide can be used on the skin, but higher concentrations can be harmful.
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Are peroxides flammable?

Some peroxides can be flammable or explosive, but Hydrogen Peroxide isn't flammable, though it can act as an oxidizer.
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Are peroxides found in nature?

Yes, peroxides can be both naturally occurring or synthesized.
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Are all peroxides liquid?

No, while Hydrogen Peroxide is a liquid, other peroxides can be solids or gases.
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Is there a shelf life for Hydrogen Peroxide?

Yes, over time it can break down, so it's essential to check expiration dates.
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Why does Hydrogen Peroxide bubble on wounds?

It releases oxygen upon contact with blood or damaged cells, causing bubbling.
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How is Hydrogen Peroxide produced?

It can be produced using various methods, including electrolysis or chemical reactions.
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Is Hydrogen Peroxide environmentally friendly?

Generally, it breaks down into harmless components, making it environmentally benign.
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Author Spotlight

Written by
Tayyaba Rehman
Tayyaba Rehman is a distinguished writer, currently serving as a primary contributor to askdifference.com. As a researcher in semantics and etymology, Tayyaba's passion for the complexity of languages and their distinctions has found a perfect home on the platform. Tayyaba delves into the intricacies of language, distinguishing between commonly confused words and phrases, thereby providing clarity for readers worldwide.

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