Potassium peroxide is an inorganic compound that is a strong oxidizing agent. It can be completely decomposed by water, acids, react with metals and nonmetals. Its physical appreance is observed as a yellow, solid powder.
Potassium peroxide is formed when potassium is heated in air. Potassium peroxides have been prepared by carefully controlled oxidation of the metals with the exact amount of air or nitric oxide, but it is difficult to prepare the pure peroxides in this manner because of the ease with which the peroxides are oxidized to the superoxide. They can also be prepared by careful oxidation of liquid ammonia solutions of the metals, using the stoichiometric quantity of oxygen for peroxide formation. They can also be prepared by the thermal decomposition of the superoxides in vacuum; for example, potassium superoxide decomposes at about 400°C.
Applications of Potassium Peroxide:
- It is mainly used as an oxidizing and bleaching agent.
- It can react with water to form potassium hydroxide and oxygen.
- Potassium superoxide is used to supply oxygen and to absorb carbon dioxide and water in self-contained lung-actuated breathing apparatus