Droplets of water spontaneously produce hydrogen peroxide?
Water is an extremely common compound on Earth. Extremely studied too. Yet he seems to want to keep some mystery. This is suggested by a discovery made by American researchers. The microdroplets of water would be able to spontaneously produce hydrogen peroxide.
Theis a chemical compound of the formula H 2 O 2 . It is used in particular for bleaching paper or water treatment. Disinfectant, in local treatment, too. And for the propulsion of rockets. In , it is simply called .
Peroxide, so this is a widely used compound. Unfortunately, it is often produced by . This gives the chance discovery made by researchers (USA), a very special importance. “I think it could be one of the most important things I’ve done,” says Richard Zare, professor of .
A discovery made by chance as his team sought to make gold nanostructures at the heart of. To do this, the chemists first added a . But by removing it, they noticed that the nanostructures were still forming. A result they attributed to the presence in the hydroxyl groups of droplets, a reducing group consisting of an of and hydrogen.
A green method to produce hydrogen peroxide
This is what led Stanford chemists to question the presence of hydrogen peroxide. To be clear, nothing like a series of tests. Among which, a very basic test. They sprayed microdroplets of water on a surface covered with– a product that police experts use to illuminate traces of blood – and . And the characterizing the of by hydrogen peroxide appeared.
All tests have confirmed that micro-droplets of water spontaneously form hydrogen peroxide. So much more important that the droplets are small. And when the droplets are recombined to form water, the formed hydrogen peroxide is not lost.
“Water is one of the most common materials. It has been studied for years. But she still seems to hide some secrets, “ notes Richard Zare. Researchers now consider that the phenomenon is due to the presence of a strong, close to the surface of microdroplets. This would force the hydroxyl groups to bind to form hydrogen peroxide.
- Hydrogen peroxide (H 2 O 2 ) is a widely used compound.
- It is traditionally produced by techniques that are not very respectful of the environment.
- But it seems that micro-droplets of water are able to form spontaneously.
- What may revolutionize the chemical industry sector.