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Sodium percarbonate 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.[1] It is sometimes abbreviated as SPC. It contains 32.5% by weight of hydrogen peroxide.

Sodium percarbonate
IUPAC name
sodium carbonate—hydrogen peroxide (2/3)
Other names
sodium carbonate sesquiperhydrate, PCS, SPC, solid hydrogen peroxide, Sodium carbonate hydrogen peroxide, sodium carbonate peroxyhydrate
3D model (JSmol)
ECHA InfoCard 100.036.082
EC Number
  • 239-707-6
RTECS number
  • FG0750000
Na2CO3·1.5 H2O2
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).
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Infobox references

The product is used in some eco-friendly bleaches and other cleaning products, and as a laboratory source of anhydrous hydrogen peroxide.


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


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.[5][3][6] This is also a convenient laboratory method.

Alternatively, dry sodium carbonate may be treated directly with concentrated hydrogen peroxide solution.[7]

World production capacity of this compound was estimated at several hundred thousand tonnes for 2004.[8]


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,[1] and Vanish.[4]

Many commercial products mix a percentage of sodium percarbonate with sodium carbonate. The average percentage of an "Oxy" product in the supermarket is 65% sodium percarbonate and 35% sodium carbonate. The "ultra boosters" seen on infomercials may contain as much as 80% sodium percarbonate. However, sodium percarbonate is less expensive in its pure form[citation needed] and can be adjusted to any percentage the user desires.

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.[9] 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.[10][11]


  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 & E. Islam (2003). "Sodium percarbonate between 293 and 100 K". Acta Crystallographica Section B. B59 (5): 596–605. doi:10.1107/S0108768103012291.
  4. ^ 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).
  5. ^ 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
  6. ^ Alun P. James, Graham R. Horne, Richard Roesler, and others (1997): "Process for producing sodium percarbonate". US Patent US6231828B1, priority date 1997-03-26.
  7. ^ 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
  8. ^ 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.CS1 maint: multiple names: authors list (link)
  9. ^ 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.
  10. ^ 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.
  11. ^ Caster, Kenneth C.; Rao, A. Somasekar; Mohan, H. Rama; McGrath, Nicholas A.; Brichacek, Matthew (2012). "Trifluoroperacetic Acid". e-EROS Encyclopedia of Reagents for Organic Synthesis. doi:10.1002/047084289X.rt254.pub2.

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