Benzoyl peroxide A chemical compound with a chemical formula C14H10O4, and a molar mass 242.23 g·mol−1 . Sometimes called dibenzoyl peroxide, . It is a colorless, crystalline solid, melting point 106-108°C (223-226°F), that is virtually insoluble in water but very soluble in most organic solvents. Benzoyl peroxide is an initiator, a type of material that decomposes at a controlled rate at moderate temperatures to give free radicals.
Benzoyl peroxide has a half-life ( 10 h at 73°C or l 63°F in benzene) for decomposition that is very convenient for many laboratory and commercial processes. This, plus its relative stability among peroxides, makes it one of the most frequently used initiators. Its primary use is as an initiator of vinyl polymerization. It also is the preferred bleaching agent for flour; is used to bleach many commercial waxes and oils; and is the active ingredient in commercial acne preparations.
Benzoyl peroxide itself is neither a carcinogen nor a mutagen. However, when coapplied with carcinogens to mouse skin it is a potent promoter of tumor development. All peroxides should be treated as potentially explosive, but benzoyl peroxide is one of the least prone to detonate.