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mCPBA is a strong oxidizing agent that may cause fire upon contact with flammable material. It is an example of a peroxycarboxylic acid. As a pure substance, it can be detonated by shock or by sparks. It is therefore sold commercially as a much more stable mixture that is about 75% mCPBA with the balance being 3-chlorobenzoic acid and water.
mCPBA is used widely as a reagent in organic chemistry to carry out a variety of chemical transformations. It is often preferred to other peroxy acids because of its relative ease of handling. The main areas of use are the conversion of ketones to esters (Baeyer-Villiger oxidation), epoxidation of alkenes, oxidation of sulfides to sulfoxides and sulfones, and oxidation of amines to produce amine oxides.
The following reaction shows how mCPBA transforms an alkene into an epoxide. The mechanism is shown as follows:
|This article is licensed under the GNU Free Documentation License. It uses material from the Wikipedia article "Meta-Chloroperoxybenzoic_acid". A list of authors is available in Wikipedia.|