tert-Butyl hydroperoxide (and related organic peroxides)

(TBHP; 2-hydroperoxy-2-methylpropane)

CAS 75-91-2





Physical Properties

Colorless liquid

Commercially available as 70 and 90% aqueous solutions and as "anhydrous solutions" in hydrocarbon solvents (e.g., decane)

70% aq TBHP: bp 96 °C, mp -3 °C

Moderately soluble in water



Not available


Vapor Pressure

62 mmHg at 45 °C


Flash Point

27 to 54 °C


Autoignition Temperature

Self-accelerating decomposition at 88 to 93 °C

Toxicity Data

LD50 oral (rat)

406 mg/kg


LD50 skin (rabbit)

460 mg/kg


LC50 inhal (rat)

500 ppm (4 h)

Major Hazards

Highly reactive oxidizing agent; sensitive to heat and shock; eye and skin irritant.


Moderately toxic by inhalation and ingestion and severely irritating to the eyes and skin.

t-Butyl hydroperoxide has not been found to be carcinogenic or to show reproductive or developmental toxicity in humans.

Flammability and Explosibility

tert-Butyl hydroperoxide is a flammable liquid and a highly reactive oxidizing agent. Pure TBHP is shock sensitive and may explode on heating. Carbon dioxide or dry chemical extinguishers should be used for fires involving tert-butyl hydroperoxide.

Reactivity and Incompatibility

tert-Butyl hydroperoxide and concentrated aqueous solutions of TBHP react violently with traces of acid and the salts of certain metals, including, in particular, manganese, iron, and cobalt. Mixing anhydrous tert-butyl hydroperoxide with organic and readily oxidized substances can cause ignition and explosion. TBHP can initiate polymerization of certain olefins.

Storage and Handling

tert-Butyl hydroperoxide should be handled in the laboratory using the "basic prudent practices" described in Chapter 5.C supplemented by the additional precautions for work with reactive and explosive substances (Chapter 5.G). In particular, tert-butyl hydroperox

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