Preparation of hydrogen peroxide

You can explore the Preparation of hydrogen peroxide using a photosensitizer such as riboflavin and redox chemical reactions for your chemistry IA. Hydrogen peroxide is a colorless liquid. A wide range of cleaning and personal care products use hydrogen peroxide. These are hair dyes and bleaches, toothpaste and mouthwashes, bathroom cleaners and laundry stain removers. Hydrogen peroxide is also present in first aid antiseptics.

Hydrogen peroxide (H2O2) is a clear liquid with a slight pungent odor and powerful oxidizing properties. It can be prepared through the electrolysis of hydrogen and oxygen in a 2:1 ratio. This method yields a solution that typically contains 3-6% hydrogen peroxide, but higher concentrations can be obtained through further distillation or concentration. The process requires an electrolytic cell, graphite or platinum electrodes, an electrolyte such as sulfuric acid or sodium hydroxide, and a power supply. The concentration of the hydrogen peroxide produced should be monitored carefully with a peroxide detection device. Proper storage and handling is necessary due to its high reactivity.

Independent variables:

  • Type of electrolyte (sulfuric acid, sodium hydroxide)
  • Concentration of electrolyte
  • Current density (amount of electric current per unit area of the electrode)
  • Temperature of the solution

Dependent variables:

  • Concentration of hydrogen peroxide produced
  • Efficiency of the electrolysis process (percentage of input energy converted to hydrogen peroxide)
  • Rate of hydrogen peroxide production

Control variables:

  • Type of electrode (platinum or graphite)
  • Surface area of the electrode
  • Voltage
  • Time duration of electrolysis

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