Solutions of Hydrogen Peroxide and sulphuric acid are used in etching of printed circuit boards and in other cleaning and etching process throughout the industry. Hydrogen Peroxide is also used for cleaning germanium and silicon semi- conductors.
Hydrogen Peroxide is widely used as a source of free radicals in emulsion process for the polymerisation of vinyl chloride, vinyl acetate, methyl methacrylate and many other monomers.
Hydrogen Peroxide is used in the bleaching of hair, in fixing dyes by oxidation and in the permanent waving and straightening of hair.
The use of dilute solutions of Hydrogen Peroxide as an antiseptic in pharmaceuticals was amongst its first applications.
The bactericidal and algicidal properties of Hydrogen Peroxide coupled with the advantage that harmless residues are formed when it decomposes,have led to its uses in the following applications:
- Sterilisation of seed and grain.
- Sterilisation of containers in the packaging of milk, fruit juice and other foodstuffs.
- The cleaning of equipment and lines in the food and dairy industries.
The use of Hydrogen Peroxide directly, or in the form of its derivatives, sodium perborate and sodium carbonate peroxyhydrate, facilitates the oxidation of vat and some sulphur dyes after their application to textiles in the leuco form
Modification of starch to reduce its viscosity in solution can be achieved by oxidation with Hydrogen Peroxide. This provides the paper industry with a convenient route to the desired starch without producing any undesirable by-products.
Hydrogen Peroxide is used to destroy excess chlorine or hypochlorite which may remain from a previous process stage. In both cases the end-products are chloride ions and water.
Source of Oxygen and energy
The use of Hydrogen Peroxide as a source of oxygen and energy was developed and exploited before and during World War II. It was used as a source of oxygen in the conditions where no air is available (under water or in the stratosphere), and as a source of energy in rapid take-off of aircraft and rockets.