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Any of a class of chemical compounds in which two oxygen atoms are linked by a single covalent bond. Several organic (seeorganic compound) and inorganic (seeinorganic compound) peroxides are useful as bleaching and oxidizing agents (seeoxidation-reduction), as initiators of polymerization reactions, and in the preparation of hydrogen peroxide (a mild bleach and antiseptic) and other oxygen compounds. The peroxide anion (chemical formula O2) is present in peroxides of inorganic compounds.
This entry comes from Encyclopædia Britannica Concise. For the full entry on peroxide, visit Britannica.com.