# What happens if hydrogen peroxide is added to silver oxides? [closed]

I have some powders that contain $\ce{Ag2O}$ and $\ce{AgO}$.

What happens if I add $\ce{H2O2}$ and some water to these silver oxides?

• What else do your powders contain? – Olena K. Jun 11 '17 at 0:41

AgO (silver(I, III) oxide) is unstable and decomposes to produce $\ce{O2}$ in aqueous solutions. Hydrogen peroxide is thermodynamically unstable too and slowly decomposes to form water and oxygen. Decomposition of hydrogen peroxide can be catalyzed by different compounds, including transition metals (such as Ag) and their compounds. Probably, the silver (I) oxide will directly/inderectly catalyze the decomposition of hydrogen peroxide according to the reaction:$$\ce{Ag2O + H2O2 → 2Ag + H2O + O2}$$

Given that the majority of silver compounds/salts are photosensitive, they will be decomposed when exposed to regular light, especially to the ultraviolet light. Even if you have other substances/compounds as impurities in hydrogen peroxide solution which can react with silver oxide you still will probably end up with elemental silver ($\ce{Ag}$).

and some water?

Sounds like a joke. The available hydrogen peroxide solutions are approx. 3% (drug store) or 30% (most chemical labs), thus, the solutions already have a plenty of water, at least 70%. Do you really need more water?

• You said AgO decompose to produce O2. Does AgO decompose to Ag2O? – user2779537 Jun 11 '17 at 10:03

When hydrogen peroxide is added to silver(I) oxide, it reduces to silver(here)

$$\ce{Ag2O + H2O2 → 2Ag + H2O + O2}$$

Silver(II)oxide is unreactive towards hydrogen peroxide and hence it is a good method to separate a powder containing silver(I) oxide and silver(II) oxide.