Peroxydisulfates (persulfates) are salts of peroxodisulfuric acid. The salts are colorless and odorless, have a crystalline structure and are usually very easily soluble.
There are different types of persulfates, each suitable for different applications. The best known are potassium persulfate and ammonium persulfate.
What is special about peroxydisulfates is their strong oxidizing power. This is only surpassed by fluorine, ozone and oxyfluorides. Persulfates are able to oxidize almost all organic compounds. Persulfates can decompose on contact with heat and moisture.
Persulfates are used in environmental applications such as soil and groundwater remediation and as an aqueous solution in printed circuit board technology to etch the copper layers of printed circuit boards.
It is also used in the pharmaceutical and cosmetic industries, for example as an oxidizing agent in hair dyes.
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