The particle-particle random phase approximation (pp-RPA) provides an approximation to the correlation energy in density functional theory via the adiabatic connection [H. van Aggelen, Y. Yang, and W. Yang, Phys. Rev. A88, 030501 (2013)]. It has virtually no delocalization error nor static correlation error for single-bond systems. However, with its formal O(N6) scaling, the pp-RPA is computationally expensive. In this paper, we implement a spin-separated and spin-adapted pp-RPA algorithm, which reduces the computational cost by a substantial factor. We then perform benchmark tests on the G2/97 enthalpies of formation database, DBH24 reaction barrier database, and four test sets for non-bonded interactions (HB6/04, CT7/04, DI6/04, and WI9/04). For the G2/97 database, the pp-RPA gives a significantly smaller mean absolute error (8.3 kcal/mol) than the direct particle-hole RPA (ph-RPA) (22.7 kcal/mol). Furthermore, the error in the pp-RPA is nearly constant with the number of atoms in a molecule, while the error in the ph-RPA increases. For chemical reactions involving typical organic closed-shell molecules, pp- and ph-RPA both give accurate reaction energies. Similarly, both RPAs perform well for reaction barriers and nonbonded interactions. These results suggest that the pp-RPA gives reliable energies in chemical applications. The adiabatic connection formalism based on pairing matrix fluctuation is therefore expected to lead to widely applicable and accurate density functionals.

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