Ammonium persulfate

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Ammonium persulfate
Peroxodisiran amonny.JPG
Other names
Ammonium peroxydisulfate
3D model (JSmol)
ECHA InfoCard 100.028.897
EC Number 231-786-5
E number E923 (glazing agents, ...)
PubChem CID
RTECS number SE0350000
UN number 1444
Molar mass 228.18 g/mol
Appearancewhite to yellowish crystals
Density 1.98 g/cm3
Melting point 120 °C (248 °F; 393 K)decomposes
80 g/100 mL (25 °C)
Solubility Moderately soluble in MeOH
Safety data sheet External MSDS
Oxidant (O)
Harmful (Xn)
Irritant (Xi)
R-phrases (outdated) R8, R22, R36/37/38, R42/43
S-phrases (outdated) (S2), S22, S24, S26, S37
NFPA 704
Flammability code 0: Will not burn. E.g., waterHealth code 2: Intense or continued but not chronic exposure could cause temporary incapacitation or possible residual injury. E.g., chloroformReactivity code 2: Undergoes violent chemical change at elevated temperatures and pressures, reacts violently with water, or may form explosive mixtures with water. E.g., phosphorusSpecial hazard OX: Oxidizer. E.g., potassium perchlorateAmmonium persulfate
Lethal dose or concentration (LD, LC):
689 mg/kg, oral (rat)
Related compounds
Other anions
Ammonium thiosulfate
Ammonium sulfite
Ammonium sulfate
Other cations
Sodium persulfate
Potassium persulfate
Except where otherwise noted, data are given for materials in their standard state (at 25 °C [77 °F], 100 kPa).
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Infobox references

Ammonium persulfate (APS) is the inorganic compound with the formula (NH4)2S2O8. It is a colourless (white) salt that is highly soluble in water, much more so than the related potassium salt. It is a strong oxidizing agent that is used in polymer chemistry, as an etchant, and as a cleaning and bleaching agent.

An inorganic compound is typically a chemical compound that lacks C-H bonds, that is, a compound that is not an organic compound, but the distinction is not defined or even of particular interest.

Oxidizing agent chemical compound used to oxidize another substance in a chemical reaction

In chemistry, an oxidizing agent is a substance that has the ability to oxidize other substances — in other words to cause them to lose electrons. Common oxidizing agents are oxygen, hydrogen peroxide and the halogens.

Polymer chemistry is a sub-discipline of chemistry that focuses on the chemical synthesis, structure, chemical and physical properties of polymers and macromolecules. The principles and methods used within polymer chemistry are also applicable through a wide range of other chemistry sub-disciplines like organic chemistry, analytical chemistry, and physical chemistry Many materials have polymeric structures, from fully inorganic metals and ceramics to DNA and other biological molecules, however, polymer chemistry is typically referred to in the context of synthetic, organic compositions. Synthetic polymers are ubiquitous in commercial materials and products in everyday use, commonly referred to as plastics, and rubbers, and are major components of composite materials. Polymer chemistry can also be included in the broader fields of polymer science or even nanotechnology, both of which can be described as encompassing polymer physics and polymer engineering.


The dissolution of the salt in water is an endothermic process.

An endothermic process is any process which requires or absorbs energy from its surroundings, usually in the form of heat. It may be a chemical process, such as dissolving ammonium nitrate in water, or simply the melting of ice cubes. The term was coined by Marcellin Berthelot from the Greek roots endo-, derived from the word "endon" (ἔνδον) meaning "within", and the root "therm" (θερμ-), meaning "hot" or "warm" in the sense that a reaction depends on absorbing heat if it is to proceed. The opposite of an endothermic process is an exothermic process, one that releases, "gives out" energy in the form of heat. Thus in each term the prefix refers to where heat goes as the reaction occurs, though in reality it only refers to where the energy goes, without necessarily being in the form of heat.


Ammonium persulfate is prepared by electrolysis of a cold concentrated solution of either ammonium sulfate or ammonium bisulfate in sulfuric acid at a high current density. [1] [2] The method was first described by Hugh Marshall. [3]

Electrolysis technique that uses a direct electric current to drive an otherwise non-spontaneous chemical reaction

In chemistry and manufacturing, electrolysis is a technique that uses a direct electric current (DC) to drive an otherwise non-spontaneous chemical reaction. Electrolysis is commercially important as a stage in the separation of elements from naturally occurring sources such as ores using an electrolytic cell. The voltage that is needed for electrolysis to occur is called the decomposition potential.

Ammonium sulfate chemical compound

Ammonium sulfate (American English and international scientific usage; ammonium sulphate in British English); (NH4)2SO4, is an inorganic salt with a number of commercial uses. The most common use is as a soil fertilizer. It contains 21% nitrogen and 24% sulfur.

Ammonium bisulfate chemical compound

Ammonium bisulfate, also known as ammonium hydrogen sulfate, is a white, crystalline solid with the formula (NH4)HSO4. It is the product of the half-neutralization of sulfuric acid by ammonia.


As an oxidizing agent and a source of radicals, APS finds many commercial applications.

Radical (chemistry) molecular entity such as ·CH3, ·SnH3, Cl· possessing an unpaired electron (in these formulae the dot,·, symbolizing the unpaired electron, should be placed so as to indicate the atom of highest spin density, if this is possible)

In chemistry, a radical is an atom, molecule, or ion that has an unpaired valence electron. With some exceptions, these unpaired electrons make radicals highly chemically reactive. Many radicals spontaneously dimerize. Most organic radicals have short lifetimes.

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. In solution, the dianion dissociates to give radicals: [4]

In chemistry, radical initiators are substances that can produce radical species under mild conditions and promote radical reactions. These substances generally possess weak bonds—bonds that have small bond dissociation energies. Radical initiators are utilized in industrial processes such as polymer synthesis. Typical examples are halogen molecules, azo compounds, and organic and inorganic peroxides.

In polymer chemistry, polymerization is a process of reacting monomer molecules together in a chemical reaction to form polymer chains or three-dimensional networks. There are many forms of polymerization and different systems exist to categorize them.

Alkene unsaturated chemical compound containing one carbon-to-carbon double bond

In organic chemistry, an alkene is an unsaturated hydrocarbon that contains at least one carbon–carbon double bond. The words alkene and olefin are often used interchangeably (see nomenclature section below). Acyclic alkenes, with only one double bond and no other functional groups, known as mono-enes, form a homologous series of hydrocarbons with the general formula CnH2n. Alkenes have two hydrogen atoms fewer than the corresponding alkane (with the same number of carbon atoms). The simplest alkene, ethylene (C2H4), with the International Union of Pure and Applied Chemistry (IUPAC) name ethene, is the organic compound produced on the largest scale industrially. Aromatic compounds are often drawn as cyclic alkenes, but their structure and properties are different and they are not considered to be alkenes.

[O3SO–OSO3]2− 2 [SO4]•−

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.

Tetramethylethylenediamine chemical compound

Tetramethylethylenediamine (TMEDA or TEMED) is a chemical compound with the formula (CH3)2NCH2CH2N(CH3)2. This species is derived from ethylenediamine by replacement of the four amine hydrogens with four methyl groups. It is a colorless liquid, although old samples often appear yellow. Its odor is remarkably similar to that of rotting fish.

Acrylamide chemical compound

Acrylamide (or acrylic amide) is an organic compound with the chemical formula CH2=CHC(O)NH2. It is a white odorless solid, soluble in water and several organic solvents. It is produced industrially as a precursor to polyacrylamides, which find many uses as water-soluble thickeners and flocculation agents. It is highly toxic, and partly for that reason it is mainly handled as an aqueous solution. The discovery that some cooked foods contain acrylamide had attracted significant attention to its possible biological effects.

Polyacrylamide chemical compound

Polyacrylamide (IUPAC poly(2-propenamide) or poly(1-carbamoylethylene), abbreviated as PAM) is a polymer (-CH2CHCONH2-) formed from acrylamide subunits. It can be synthesized as a simple linear-chain structure or cross-linked, typically using N,N'-methylenebisacrylamide. In the cross-linked form, the possibility of the monomer being present is reduced even further. It is highly water-absorbent, forming a soft gel when hydrated, used in such applications as polyacrylamide gel electrophoresis, and can also be called ghost crystals when cross-linked, and in manufacturing soft contact lenses. In the straight-chain form, it is also used as a thickener and suspending agent. More recently, it has been used as a subdermal filler for aesthetic facial surgery (see Aquamid).

Illustrative of its powerful oxidizing properties, it is used to etch copper on printed circuit boards as an alternative to ferric chloride solution. [5] 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. [6] The oxidation equation is thus: 12S
(aq) + eSO2−

Ammonium persulfate is a standard ingredient in hair bleach.

Persulfates are used as oxidants in organic chemistry. [7] For example in the Minisci reaction


Airborne dust may be irritating to eye, nose, throat, lung and skin upon contact. Exposure to high levels of dust may cause difficulty in breathing. [8]

It has been noted that persulfate salts are a major cause of asthmatic effects in women. [9] Furthermore, it has been suggested that exposure to ammonium persulfate can cause asthmatic effects in hair dressers and receptionists working in the hair dressing industry. These asthmatic effects are proposed to be caused by the oxidation of cysteine residues, as well as methionine residues. [10]

Related Research Articles

Salt (chemistry) ionic compound

In chemistry, a salt is an ionic compound that can be formed by the neutralization reaction of an acid and a base. Salts are composed of related numbers of cations and anions so that the product is electrically neutral. These component ions can be inorganic, such as chloride (Cl), or organic, such as acetate ; and can be monatomic, such as fluoride (F), or polyatomic, such as sulfate.

Redox chemical reaction

Redox is a chemical reaction in which the oxidation states of atoms are changed. Any such reaction involves both a reduction process and a complementary oxidation process, two key concepts involved with electron transfer processes. Redox reactions include all chemical reactions in which atoms have their oxidation state changed; in general, redox reactions involve the transfer of electrons between chemical species. The chemical species from which the electron is stripped is said to have been oxidized, while the chemical species to which the electron is added is said to have been reduced. It can be explained in simple terms:

Sulfide salt or other derivative of hydrogen sulfide or organic compound having the structure RSR (R ≠ H)

Sulfide (British English sulphide) is an inorganic anion of sulfur with the chemical formula S2− or a compound containing one or more S2− ions. Solutions of sulfide salts are corrosive. Sulfide also refers to chemical compounds large families of inorganic and organic compounds, e.g. lead sulfide and dimethyl sulfide. Hydrogen sulfide (H2S) and bisulfide (SH-) are the conjugate acids of sulfide.

Iron(III) chloride chemical compound

Iron(III) chloride, also called ferric chloride, is an industrial scale commodity chemical compound, with the formula FeCl3 and with iron in the +3 oxidation state. The colour of iron(III) chloride crystals depends on the viewing angle: by reflected light the crystals appear dark green, but by transmitted light they appear purple-red. Anhydrous iron(III) chloride is deliquescent, forming hydrated hydrogen chloride mists in moist air. It is rarely observed in its natural form, the mineral molysite, known mainly from some fumaroles.

In chemistry, a reactivity series (or activity series) is an empirical, calculated, and structurally analytical progression of a series of metals, arranged by their "reactivity" from highest to lowest. It is used to summarize information about the reactions of metals with acids and water, double displacement reactions and the extraction of metals from their ores.

Free-radical addition is an addition reaction in organic chemistry involving free radicals. The addition may occur between a radical and a non-radical, or between two radicals.

Ceric ammonium nitrate chemical compound

Ceric ammonium nitrate (CAN) is the inorganic compound with the formula (NH4)2Ce(NO3)6. This orange-red, water-soluble cerium salt is a specialised oxidizing agent in organic synthesis and a standard oxidant in quantitative analysis.

Cerium(IV) sulfate a yellow to yellow/orange solid cerium salt

Cerium(IV) sulfate, also called ceric sulfate, is an inorganic compound. It exists as the anhydrous salt Ce(SO4)2 as well as a few hydrated forms: Ce(SO4)2(H2O)x, with x equal to 4, 8, or 12. These salts are yellow to yellow/orange solids that are moderately soluble in water and dilute acids. Its neutral solutions slowly decompose, depositing the light yellow oxide CeO2. Solutions of ceric sulfate have a strong yellow color. The tetrahydrate loses water when heated to 180-200 °C.

Peroxymonosulfuric acid chemical compound

Peroxymonosulfuric acid, (H2SO5), also known as persulfuric acid, peroxysulfuric acid, or Caro's acid, is a liquid at room temperature. In this acid, the S(VI) center adopts its characteristic tetrahedral geometry; the connectivity is indicated by the formula HO–O–S(O)2–OH. It is one of the strongest oxidants known (E0 = +2.51 V) and is highly explosive.

Potassium persulfate chemical compound

Potassium persulfate is the inorganic compound with the formula K2S2O8. Also known as potassium peroxydisulfate or KPS, it is a white solid that is sparingly soluble in cold water, but dissolves better in warm water. This salt is a powerful oxidant, commonly used to initiate polymerizations.

Sodium persulfate chemical compound

Sodium persulfate is the inorganic compound with the formula Na2S2O8. It is the sodium salt of peroxydisulfuric acid, H2S2O8, an oxidizing agent. It is a white solid that dissolves in water. It is almost non-hygroscopic and has good shelf-life.


The peroxydisulfate ion, S
, is a oxyanion. It is commonly referred to as the persulfate ion or peroxodisulfate anions, but this term also refers to the peroxomonosulfate ion, SO2−
. Approximately 500,000 tons of salts containing this anion are produced annually. Important salts include sodium persulfate (Na2S2O8), potassium persulfate (K2S2O8), and ammonium persulfate ((NH4)2S2O8). These salts are colourless, water-soluble solids that are strong oxidants.

Ammonium iron(II) sulfate chemical compound

Ammonium iron(II) sulfate, or Mohr's salt, is the inorganic compound with the formula (NH4)2Fe(SO4)2·6H2O. Containing two different cations, Fe2+ and NH4+, it is classified as a double salt of ferrous sulfate and ammonium sulfate. It is a common laboratory reagent because it is readily crystallized, and crystals resist oxidation by air. Like the other ferrous sulfate salts, ferrous ammonium sulfate dissolves in water to give the aquo complex [Fe(H2O)6]2+, which has octahedral molecular geometry.

Hydroxylammonium sulfate chemical compound

Hydroxylammonium sulfate (NH3OH)2SO4, is the sulfuric acid salt of hydroxylamine. It is primarily used as an easily handled form of hydroxylamine, which is explosive when pure.

Ammonium iron(III) sulfate chemical compound

Ammonium iron(III) sulfate, NH4Fe(SO4)2·12 H2O, or NH4[Fe(H2O)6](SO4)2·6 H2O, also known as ferric ammonium sulfate (FAS) or iron alum, is a double salt in the class of alums, which consists of compounds with the general formula AB(SO4)2 · 12 H2O. It has the appearance of weakly violet, octahedrical crystals. There has been some discussion regarding the origin of the crystals' colour, with some ascribing it to impurities in the compound, and others claiming it to be a property of the crystal itself.

Ammonium cyanide chemical compound

Ammonium cyanide is an unstable inorganic compound with the formula NH4CN.

Chromium(II) sulfate chemical compound

Chromium(II) sulfate refers to inorganic compounds with the chemical formula CrSO4·n H2O. Several closely related hydrated salts are known. The pentahydrate is a blue solid that dissolves readily in water. Solutions of chromium(II) are easily oxidized by air to Cr(III) species. Solutions of Cr(II) are used as specialized reducing agents of value in organic synthesis.

Chevreul's salt (Copper(I,II) Sulfite Dihydrate, Cu2SO3•CuSO3•2H2O (Cu3(SO3)2•2H2O)), is a copper salt which was prepared for the first time by a French chemist Michel Eugène Chevreul in 1812. Its unique property is that it contains copper in both of its common oxidation states. It is insoluble in water and stable in air. What was known as Rogojski's salt is a mixture of Chevreul's salt and metallic copper.


  1. Shafiee, Saiful Arifin; Aarons, Jolyon; Hamzah, Hairul Hisham (2018). "Electroreduction of Peroxodisulfate: A Review of a Complicated Reaction". Journal of the Electrochemical Society. ECS. 165 (13): H785–H798. doi:10.1149/2.1161811jes.
  2. F. Feher, "Potassium Peroxydisulfate" in Handbook of Preparative Inorganic Chemistry, 2nd Ed. Edited by G. Brauer, Academic Press, 1963, NY. Vol. 1. p. 390.
  3. Hugh Marshall (1891). "LXXIV. Contributions from the Chemical Laboratory of the University of Edinburgh. No. V. The trisulphates". J. Chem. Soc., Trans. 59: 771. doi:10.1039/CT8915900771.
  4. Harald Jakob; Stefan Leininger; Thomas Lehmann; Sylvia Jacobi; Sven Gutewort, "Peroxo Compounds, Inorganic", Ullmann's Encyclopedia of Industrial Chemistry , Weinheim: Wiley-VCH, doi:10.1002/14356007.a19_177.pub2
  5. "Ammonium Persulphate: Copper Etchant". MG Chemicals.
  6. Turrentine, J. W. (1908). "Action of Ammonium Persulphate on Metals". Journal of Physical Chemistry. 11: 623–631. doi:10.1021/j150089a004.
  7. Encyclopedia of Reagents for Organic Synthesis, vol. 1, pp. 193–197 (1995).
  8. "Archived copy" (PDF). Archived from the original (PDF) on 2011-07-11. Retrieved 2010-03-08. FMC Corporation, MSDS sheet dated: 2009-06-26
  9. De Vooght, V.; Jesus Cruz, M.; Haenen, S.; Wijnhoven, K.; Munoz, X.; Cruz, M.; Munoz, X.; Morell, F.; Nemery, B (2010). "Ammonium persulfate can initiate an asthmatic response in mice". Thorax. 65: 252–257. doi:10.1136/thx.2009.121293. PMID   20335296.
  10. Pignatti, P.; Frossi, B.; Pala, G.; Negri, S.; Oman, H.; Perfetti, L.; Pucillo, C.; Imbriani, M.; Moscato, G. (2013). "Oxidative activity of ammonium persulfate salt on mast cells and basophils: implication in hairdressers' asthma". Int. Arch. Allergy Immunol. 160: 409–419. doi:10.1159/000343020.