HYDROGEN PEROXIDE: 201 YEARS OF INNOVATIONS

1818

Hydrogen peroxide is produced for the first time by the French chemist Louis Jacques Thénard by means of a reaction between barium peroxide and nitric acid

1857

The English hygiene expert Benjamin Ward Richardson discovers that hydrogen peroxide can be used in the of wounds. Today it is still used for disinfecting medical equipment

1873

The first plant for the industrial production of 3 percent hydrogen peroxide from barium peroxide is built by the Schering company in Berlin. This solution gradually becomes popular in German households as a hair bleach and an antibacterial cleaning agent

1894

Pure hydrogen peroxide is produced for the first time by the German chemist Richard Wolffenstein through a distillation method

1906

Otto Margulies, the founder of Österreichische Chemische Werke (ÖCW), acquires a patent for an electrochemical method for manufacturing hydrogen peroxide. The factory that will use this method is built in the town of Weißenstein in the Austrian state of Carinthia

1907

Degussa delivers its first order of sodium perborate to the Henkel company for producing the laundry detergent Persil. This active ingredient is now made from hydrogen peroxide

1910

Degussa acquire shares in the ÖCW company. The Weißenstein factory goes into operation in January. The production of highly concentrated hydrogen peroxide (30 percent) is now possible for the first time

1935

Hellmuth Walter is the first German inventor to use hydrogen peroxide as an engine fuel. Hydrogen peroxide is subsequently also used as a propellant in rocket technology

1953

The first industrial-scale production plant to use the anthraquinone autoxidation process is opened by the DuPont company in Memphis, Tennessee

1989

The first patent application is submitted for a teeth-whitening gel based on hydrogen peroxide

1995

Degussa is the first company to transport hydrogen peroxide by ship, from Alabama to Lemont, a suburb of Chicago

2018

Evonik Industries signs a contract with One Equity Partners for the takeover of PeroxyChem, a US manufacturer of hydrogen peroxide and peracetic acid

Photos: action press, mauritius images/United Archives, mauritius images / Falkenstein/Bildagentur-online Historical Collect. / Alamy, picture alliance / The Advertising Archives, Konzernarchiv Evonik Industries AG (2), iStockphoto
Publishing date 05 March 2019

ELEMENTS Newsletter
Get fascinating insights into the research Evonik is conducting, and its social relevance, by subscribing to our free newsletter.