Ammonium Persulfate is an inorganic compound. It is a very useful chemical compound which is made by the electrolysis of a cold concentrated solution of either ammonium sulfate or ammonium bisulfate in sulfuric acid.
Ammonium Persulfate has the appearance of a white crystalline solid. It is highly soluble in water.
Chemical Applications and Strengths
Ammonium Persulfate is an extremely useful chemical compound and therefore, has many industrial applications. Its main applications and strengths are:
Ammonium Persulfate is most commonly used as an oxidising agent and a source of radicals. It is a strong oxidising agent that is used in polymer chemistry as an etchant.
It is used as a cleaning and bleaching agent.
It is used as a radical initiator in the polymerisation of specific alkenes. Important polymers prepared with this include styrene butadiene rubber and polytetrafluoroethylene.
Because of its strong oxidising properties it is used to etch copper on printed circuit boards as a ferric chloride solution alternative.
It is a common ingredient of hair bleach.
It is used in the treatment of metal surfaces.
It is also used for activation of copper and aluminium surfaces.
In the textile industry it is used to de-slurry and bleach specially for low temperature bleaching.
It is used for water purification.
It is used as a disinfectant.
It is also used in exhaust gas treatment.
l It is used for the oxidative degradation of harmful substances like mercury.
l It is used in the paper industry for starch modification and special repulping for low temperature bleaching.
As an oxidizing agent and a source of radicals, Ammonium Persulfate finds many commercial applications.
Salts of sulfate are mainly used as radical initiators in the polymerization of certain alkenes. Commercially important polymers prepared using persulfates include styrene-butadiene rubber and polytetrafluoroethylene.
The sulfate radical adds to the alkene to give a sulfate ester radical. It is also used along with tetramethylethylenediamine to catalyze the polymerization of acrylamide in making a polyacrylamide gel, hence being important for SDS-PAGE and western blot.
Illustrative of its powerful oxidizing properties, it is used to etch copper on printed circuit boards as an alternative to ferric chloride solution. This property was discovered many years ago. In 1908, John William Turrentine used a dilute ammonium persulfate solution to etch copper. Turrentine weighed copper spirals before placing the copper spirals into the ammonium persulfate solution for an hour. After an hour, the spirals were weighed again and the amount of copper dissolved by ammonium persulfate was recorded. This experiment was extended to other metals such as nickel, cadmium, and iron, all of which yielded similar results. Ammonium persulfate is a standard ingredient in hair bleach.
Persulfates are used as oxidants in organic chemistry. For example, in the Minisci reaction.
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