|Uses:||polymerization initiator, decontamination|
|Properties:||radical initiator, oxidizer|
|Hazards:||strong oxidizer, burns|
Ammonium persulfate is a very strong oxidizer used for industrial cleaning and decontamination, as well as a strong radical initiator often used to promote polymerization reactions. Its oxidation potential, at 2.1 V, is only slightly weaker than ozone (O32-, 2.2) but stronger than both hydrogen peroxide (H2O2, 1.8 V) and permanganate (MnO4, 1.7V). It is also widely used in polyacrylamide gel electrophoresis (PAGE) within biochemistry labs. The persulfate radical is particularly stable relative to many other radicals, and it is often stabilized even more by the addition of tetramethylethylenediamine (TEMED).
When used as an oxidizing agent, the reduction of the persulfate ion occurs as indicated in equation (1).
- (1) S2O82- + 2H+ + 2e- 2HSO4- (2.1 V)
Free radical chemistry
The persulfate ion self-decomposes into sulfate radicals, with oxidation potential 2.6 V, as indicated in equation (2).
- (2) S2O82- 2SO4.-