A simple and efficient preparation of high-purity hydrogen trioxide (HOOOH) (Faculty of Chemistry and Chemical Technology, University of Ljubljana)

Authors: Gregor Strle, Janez Cerkovnik

Water (HOH) and hydrogen peroxide (HOOH) are the only known naturally stable compounds consisting of hydrogen and oxygen elements. The existence of hydrogen trioxide (HOOOH), their higher homologue, has been assumed for more than 100 years, however, the first reliable reports of its existence only date back to the 1960s. In the last two decades research in this field has become more intense, mainly due to the development of methods for the preparation of hydrogen trioxide. An important part of this research has been made at the University of Ljubljana.

The unstable nature of the HOOOH molecule and the presence of other contaminants in different methods of its preparation are major obstacles such that this, as for many unusual compounds, received great attention among a wider audience of researchers. Significant progress in this area comes in the form of a simple and efficient method for preparation of pure solutions of hydrogen trioxide, developed by researchers from the Faculty of Chemistry and Chemical Technology and published in the prestigious journal Angewandte Chemie. Namely, scientists assume that the HOOOH molecule is one of the key intermediates involved in the biochemical oxidation processes (atherosclerosis, cancer, and neurodegenerative diseases), as well as in chain processes in the environment and atmosphere.

The authors received a special compliment from the editor for excellent reviews, and the contribution was ranked in the highest category (Hot Paper, the top 5 percent of contributions) and exposed on the back cover of the magazine.

Source: G. Strle, J. Cerkovnik, A Simple and Efficient Preparation of High-Purity Hydrogen Trioxide (HOOOH), Angew. Chem. Int. Ed. 2015, 54, 9917–9920.