MCPBA is a strong oxidizing agent used in several reactions including the oxidizing of aldehydes and ketones to esters, olefins to epoxides, sulfides to sulfoxides and sulfones and amines to nitroalkanes, nitroxides or N-oxides. It is comparable to other peracids used in the laboratory.
MCPBA is easier to handle in the laboratory because it exists in powder form and can be kept in a refrigerator. MCPBA as a pure compound is not stable, and a purity of greater than 75 percent is rarely available. In production, hydrogen peroxide with catalysts is preferred to MCPBA. MCPBA can be more selective than hydrogen peroxide in some reactions.