XXXI.—On the peroxides of the radicals of the organic acids
Journal of the Chemical Society (Resumed)
IN aformer communication* I announced to the Royal Society the discovery of a new group of chemical substances, the peroxides of the radicals of the organic acids-bodies which, in the systems of the combinations of these radicals, occupy the same relative position as is held by tbe peroxides of hydrogen, barinm, or manganese in the systems of the combinations of those elements. The investigation of these peroxides is attended with peculiar difficulties. I t is by no means easy to prepare in any
... y to prepare in any considerable quantity the anhydrous acids and chlorides themselves, which is only the first step in the preparation of the peroxides. The greater number of these substances are also excessively unstable ; they are decomposed in the very reactions by which they are produced, and the quantity actually obtained is very far from corresponding to that which is indicated b? theory. There can be little hope of a complete and successful investigation of the decompositions of these bodies, until methods are discovered by which the substances themselves can be more readily procured. I have for these reasons not yet been able to submit their transformations to the profound study which the subject merits, and which will doubtless be some day followed by a rich harvest of discovery. One exception should be made to the above remarks, the peroxide of benzoyl. This beautiful substance can be procured with comparative facility, and I hope t o pursue the investigation of its metamorphoses. It appeared to me, however, of primary importance to establish the perfect generality of the fundamental reaction by which these bodies are prepared. This 1 have effected by forming several members of the group: and 1 have also, in one instance, at least, succeeded in ascertaining the constitution of the peroxide of a bibasic acid, a member of a new class of chemical substances, fundamentally different (as the chemist would perhaps anticipate) from the peroxides of the monobasic acids, and characterised by well-marked reactions.