Difference Between Hydrogen Peroxide and Carbamide Peroxide

Hydrogen Peroxide vs Carbamide Peroxide

Hydrogen peroxide and carbamide peroxide are used for similar activities because both have the hydrogen peroxide activity. For example, both are used as teeth whitening agents. However, whether to use hydrogen peroxide or carbamide peroxide differs according to the need. 

Hydrogen Peroxide

Hydrogen peroxide is the simplest form of peroxide, which is denoted as H2O2. It is a clear liquid with the boiling point 150 oC. It is completely miscible with water, however, can be completely separated by distillation because its boiling point is higher than that of water. Hydrogen peroxide is a strong oxidizing and reducing agent. Hydrogen peroxide is a nonlinear, non-planar molecule. It has an open book structure.

Peroxides are produced as a by-product of various chemical reactions or as an intermediate. This type of reactions happens inside our bodies too. Peroxide has toxic effects inside our cells. Therefore, they have to be neutralized as soon as they are produced. Our cells have a special mechanism for that. There is an organelle called peroxisomes in our cells, which contain the catalase enzyme. This enzyme catalyses the decomposition of hydrogen peroxide into water and oxygen, thus do a detoxification function.

Hydrogen peroxide has hazardous properties, like decomposition to oxygen and water with evolution of heat, or decomposes due to contamination or contact with active surfaces. Due to the formation of oxygen, pressure increases inside the containers and it also can form explosive mixtures. Bleaching action of hydrogen peroxide is due to oxidation and release of oxygen. This oxygen will react with coloring matter, to make it colorless.

H2O2      →     H2O    + O

O + coloring matter    →  Colorless matter

Other than for bleaching, H2O2 is used an oxidant for rocket fuel, for production of epoxides, pharmaceuticals and food products, as an antiseptic, etc. Hydrogen peroxide is stored in paraffin wax coated glass, plastic or Teflon bottles.

Carbamide Peroxide

Carbamide peroxide is an adduct of hydrogen peroxide and urea. This is also known as urea peroxide, urea hydrogen peroxide, and percarbamide. The molecular formula of carbamide peroxide can be given as CH6N2O3.  This is a white solid crystal with the molar mass 94.07 g mol−1. When the solid dissolves in water it releases hydrogen peroxide.

Carbamide peroxide is an oxidizer. Carbamide peroxide Is produced by dissolving urea in hydrogen peroxide and then crystallizing it. As an oxidizer, it is used in many applications. Carbamide peroxide is used as a teeth whitening agent. Because of the hydrogen peroxide, it can also be used as a bleaching agent and a disinfectant. So this is an important compound in cosmetic and pharmaceutical industry. Since this releases hydrogen peroxide upon dissolution, carbamide peroxide is also used as a replacement for hydrogen peroxide in the laboratory. However, when higher concentrations of carbamide peroxide can be corrosive and can be a skin, eye and respiratory irritant. So we should be careful when handling this compound.


What is the difference between Hydrogen Peroxide and Carbamide Peroxide?

• Carbamide peroxide has hydrogen peroxide in it connected with urea.

• When dissolving, carbamide peroxide releases hydrogen peroxide.

• Hydrogen peroxide is a faster and strong oxidizer than carbamide peroxide.

Since • the releasing of hydrogen peroxide from carbamide peroxide is slower and limited, it is a better teeth whitening compound.

• Carbamide peroxide is more stable than hydrogen peroxide.