What’s the half-life of hydrogen peroxide (assuming STP and an opaque container)?

That’s H202, Ryan.

I think it’s pretty stable in the dilute concentrations you buy at the drugstore. It should last a year or more anyway.

The highly concentrated stuff (i.e., rocket fuel) is hard to keep around. It’s not that it spontaneously decomposes, it’s more like a hair trigger. It’s highly reactive and exothermic so once it gets started it more or less all goes.

“I’ll tell him but I don’t think he’ll be very keen. He’s already got one, you see!”

Actually, a nurse friend of mine advised me that once opened, peroxide lasts only a few short months. Unopened it can last over a year. :slight_smile:

Um, I do believe that rocket fuel is H2 and O2 seperately. The highly exothermic reaction is 2H2 + O2 -> 2H20.

So, peroxide has little to do with it. Of course, IANARS, so I could be wrong.

That is true, but H2O2 is also a powerful oxydizer. The 2H2O2 -> O2 + 2H2O reaction requires very little energy input and produces oxygen which combines with any fuel you throw at it. It is also a lot easier to handle than pure oxygen, because H2O2 is a reasonably stable liquid at room temperature and atmospheric pressure. Pure O2 is hard to carry in useful amounts - you have to either pressurize it in a very strong tank, or liquify it and keep it at cryogenic temperatures.
Beal Aerospace is developing a kerosene + hydrogen perxide rocket.

There was an accident in Japan a few months ago where someone carried high concentration hydrogen peroxide in a tanker truck, then tried to carry something else (oil?) without washing the tank very well. Big explosion but no casualties IIRC. Still, shows you how powerful an oxydizer it is.

Hydrogen peroxide has been used in liquid fuel rockets since before WWII, and it was also used in other applications, such as torepedos. The German V2 was peroxide powered.

Some info:

Pynchon’s “Gravity’s Rainbow”. I’m actually showing restraint by not quoting the limericks that followed …

I disagree with pluto. I’m using a 90% hydrogen peroxide solution which I opened more than a year ago. It has lost none of it’s activity. Hydrogen peroxide does undergo decomposition, but it’s very slow at room temperature and I don’t think the concentration is as relevant (it’s not autocatalytic) as the presence of trace metal impurities which certainly catalyse this decomposition.

Is that why bottle blonds are sometimes call “bombsells”? :smiley:

Sorry, I’ll leave now.

Trying to recall my chemistry…I believe H30 is Deuterium or “heavy water”.

Rich “G7SUBS”

H3O is pretty meaningless really.
Hydrogen peroxide is H2O2.
Deuterated hydrogen peroxide would be D2O2 or HDO2.
H3O+ is a common ion.

I don’t disagree with those who corrected my original response (with one exception, noted below).

My recollection of hydrogen peroxide as a rocket fuel was based on a long-ago reading of Willy Ley’s Rockets, ??? and Space Travel. (See it’s been so long ago I can’t even remember the name. I think the second word might have been Men) At some point in the V2 development they needed highly concentrated H2O2 and were dismayed to discover that it was not generally available. The pharmaceutical stuff is very dilute and industrial concentrations were still only 10% (or some such) solutions.

I have a vague recollection that the peroxide was not used directly as fuel or oxidizer (the V2 used LOX, IIRC) but was used to generate steam to drive the fuel and oxidizer pumps. Further reaches into the depths of my memory returns the idea that a similar system, or at least an H2O2 powered steam generator, was used in the X-15.

Liquid H2 and O2 were used as fuel and oxidizer in the Saturn V. The first stage, I believe, but I’m willing to be further corrected on that one.

android, you’re the exception. I’m having trouble imagining any use for a 90% solution, unless you are talking about some technical process. Do you really have such a strong solution? Let me know if I’m wrong. You are certainly right about the use of metals to catalyse the reaction.

High purity [concentration] hydrogen peroxide was used as the fuel for a rocket belt. [flown in movies and at the Olympics, but really only about 30 seconds flight time] In that application the peroxide was run over a catalyst to produce steam which powered the rocket belt.

H30+ is commonly referred to as an acid :slight_smile:

Basically its H20 and H+ ions. You asking about H202. This is in fact common hydrogen peroxide. Wish doesn’t really have a half-life. It doesn’t undergo alpha, beta or gamma deteriation.

I suppose you could think of H30+ as undergoing but… i don’t think so.
The Urge

16 just held such better days, days when i still felt alive, I couldn’t wait to get outside. The world was watching.

The H2O2 in my medicine cabinet is only 3%. I believe it is broken down by light. That’s why it comes in a light proof bottle. Anything stronger would be toxic.

If my memory serves me (it’s been a long time since chemistry), H2O2 is considered a oxygen radical, like O3 and singlet oxygen, and is very toxic to plant and animal cells, due to the presence of cell membrane and DNA destroying singlet oxygen atoms.

Slightly off topic: Can anyone tell me the chemical name for H2O besides water? I say it’s hydrogen oxide, but my wife says that’s wrong but she can’t think of the correct chemical name, if there really is one.

Not quite. Deuterium is the term for a hydrogen atom with an extra neutron in the nucleus (a normal hydrogen atom has only a proton, so Deuterium is twice as heavy as ordinary Hydrogen).

If you make water with Deuterium, it’s called “heavy water”. Normal H2O has a weight of 18 (16 for the O plus 2 for the Hydrogen), but heavy water would be 19, because one of the Hydrogen atoms would have an extra neutron.

BTW, a Hydrogen atom with yet another neutron, which has an atomic weight of 3, is called Tritium. The demand for this stuff outstrips the supply, so it’s exceedingly expensive.

As you can see here, hydrogen peroxide (H2O2) is and was used as a rocket fuel oxidizer.

Of course, H2 and O2 are used as rocket fuel, most notably in the Space Shuttle Main Engines.

You could burn deuterium (D2) or tritium in a chemical rocket, but that would be expensive as hell.

Hydrogen peroxide at high (90%) concentrations is used in the manufacture of mirrors, among other things.

H3O+ is called the hydronium ion, and is present in acidic solutions.

Water can be called many things, depending on which branch of chemistry you’re in. Hydrogen hydroxide (HOH) is he one organic chemists prefer, IIRC.

Things have half-lives even if they are not radioactive. For example, the half-life of a drug may be 2 hours, so you’d take more in 4 hours when the concentration was 1/4 what you started with.

I lead a boring life of relative unimportance. Really.

Half life relating to radioactive decay and half life meaning chemical stability should not be confused.
On a laboratory scale very highly concentrated and even almost pure hydrogen peroxide is produced by steam distillation (to about 90%) and low temperature crystallisation (to ca. 98%) in order to carry out certain specific oxidations, such as the preparation of oxaziridines, although they are not used in this case, but you can see the structure if it interests you. This also allows the preparation of almost water-free hydrogen peroxide, although generally, urea-hydrogen peroxide adduct is used when anhydrous peroxide is required.

I’m not sure if mono-deutero water is commercially available. The only ‘heavier’ water sold by most suppliers is D20 which has a molecular weight of (approx.) 20. And if you want real expensive, try and buy some D2(18)O, molecular weight 40 ;).

Oops, MW = 22. I was thinking of D2(18)O2, mw= 40…now that would be expensive.

The V-2 was powered by vodka and liquid O2. the alcohol was prodused by fermenting potatos and distilling. H2O2 is a very good oxider but like prevusly stated the germans couldn’t find a goo supply of it.