Benzoyl peroxide is an organic compound in the peroxide family. It consists of two benzoyl groups bridged by a peroxide link. Its structural formula is [C6H5C(O)]2O2. It is one of the most important organic peroxides in terms of applications and the scale of its production. Benzoyl peroxide is used as an acne treatment, for improving flour, for bleaching hair and teeth, for polymerising polyester and many other uses. Benzoyl peroxide is included in the World Health Organization (WHO) Model Lists of Essential medicines, which is a list of minimum medical needs for a basic health care system. Benzoyl peroxide was the first organic peroxide prepared by intentional synthesis. It was prepared by treating benzoyl chloride with barium peroxide, a reaction that probably follows this stoichiometry: Benzoyl peroxide is usually prepared by treating hydrogen peroxide with benzoyl chloride. The oxygen-oxygen bond in peroxides is weak. Thus benzoyl peroxide readily undergoes homolysis (symmetrical scission), forming free radicals: The symbol indicates that the products are radicals; i.e., they contain at least one unpaired electron. Such species are highly reactive. The
Contributions by Edgar181, Beetstra, and CheMoBot.