# For home chemistry purposes can you treat sodium percarbonate as sodium peroxide?

It is easy to find home chemistry experiments for sodium peroxide but not so much sodium percarbonate. Industrially sodium percarbonate is used a sodium peroxide source- it is close enough to used as a substitute for common home experiments?

• you really need to specify what experiment you want to do. Aug 10 at 2:38
• Sorry my addled brain thought I was writing hydrogen peroxide Aug 10 at 7:05
• Then fix it in the question title/body, otherwise readers will take it as the valid content. (Fixing it on the author behalf is always a risk not to match what the author has in mind .). // In the current question wording, the answer is it cannot be said until the particular scenario is specified. Aug 10 at 8:18
• It is not a true peroxoacid anion like persulphate or peracetate. It is a peroxohydrate, releasing free hydrogen peroxide when dissolved, or at contact with suitable solvent. Aug 10 at 8:44

## 1 Answer

These behave fairly differently, in most cases. Look at the Safety Data Sheets, first:

• This chemical is considered hazardous by... 29 CFR 1910.1200
Skin Corrosion/Irritation Category 1A
Oxidizing solids Category 1

• This chemical is considered hazardous by... 29 CFR 1910.1200
Acute oral toxicity Category 4
Oxidizing solids Category 3


$$\ce{Na2O2}$$ is a more powerful oxidizer, more likely to start combustion in contact with organic substances, can cause skin corrosion, and is generally not very stable.

$$\ce{Na2CO3.1.5 H2O2}$$ is a less powerful oxidizer, a bit more stable, less toxic orally, and is not listed as corrosive to skin (caustic), just possibly irritating.

Yes, both can be used as a source of oxygen, $$\ce{O2}$$, but $$\ce{Na2O2}$$ can react abruptly, perhaps causing a conflagrating explosion. In some use, the water and $$\ce{CO2}$$ that accompany evolution of oxygen from $$\ce{Na2CO3.1.5 H2O2}$$ might interfere with a reaction.

Caveat pharmacopolium: It is possible, if you have the chemical and engineering knowledge, to use one in place of the other in some situations... but you'd need to be specific to get any assurance.