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Thorium Superoxide, Th2O7

Thorium Superoxide, Th2O7, is obtained in a hydrated form when ammonia is added to a mixture of thorium acetate or sulphate solution and hydrogen peroxide. This superoxide is rather unstable and easily loses some oxygen, so passing into more stable trioxide, ThO3. By the action of dilute sulphuric acid on the superoxide, Th2O7, hydrogen peroxide is formed in solution, whilst concentrated sulphuric acid yields ozonised oxygen. The superoxide Th2O7 is formed by the action of hypochlorite as well as hydrogen peroxide on Th(OH)4, and also by the electrolysis of an alkaline solution of sodium chloride in which thorium hydroxide, Th(OH)4, is suspended. It is therefore regarded by Pissarjewski as a true superoxide, and not merely an addition compound of Th(OH)4 and H2O2. Its formation from the nitrate is therefore thus represented:

Th(NO3)4 + 4HO2H = Th(O2H)4 + 4HNO3,

Th(O2H)4 being a salt of hydrogen peroxide, which is subsequently hydrolysed to Th(O2H)2(OH)2 and Th(O2H)(OH)3, a mixture of which constitutes Th2O7.

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