Autoxidation is any oxidation that occurs in presence of oxygen. The term is usually used to describe the degradation of organic compounds in air. Autoxidation produces hydroperoxides and cyclic organic peroxides. These species can react further to form many products. The process is relevant to many phenomena including aging, paint, spoilage of foods, degradation of petrochemicals, and the industrial production of chemicals. Autoxidation is important because it is a useful reaction for converting compounds to oxygenated derivatives, and also because it occurs in situations where it is not desired.
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