Sulfuric Acid, also written as sulphuric acid, is a strong acid composed of hydrogen, sulfur and oxygen. The pure acid is a colorless liquid at room temperature and is highly corrosive. It is a very important acid in many different industries mainly because it is one of the cheapest acids to produce. Let’s take a look at some of the most common applications of this acid.
Uses of sufuric acid
- Sulfuric acid is used in the manufacturing process for producing phosphoric acid. This acid is used to create phosphate fertilizers and trisodium phosphate, which is used in detergent. Sulfuric acid is also used, together with ammonia, to produce ammonium sulfate; which is another common fertilizer. Approximately 60% of the worldwide production of this acid is used to make high quality fertilizers.
- Sulfuric acid is also important to the iron and steelmaking industry. It is used in large quantities to remove rust, oxidation, and other impurities from the product.
- Lead-acid batteries used in many different types of vehicles contain sulfuric acid. These batteries are used to provide power to the starter motor to start the vehicle, as well as to run accessories such as the stereo system. The sulfuric acid content of these batteries is quite high and should be handled by a trained professional.
- In the concentrated form, sulfuric acid is also as a dehydrating agent. It efficiently draws the moisture and condensation away from many substances.
- The concentrated form can also dissolve many nonreactive metals when it is heated.
- Sulfuric acid is extremely important to the chemical industry. It is also used to produce many other important substances such as TNT and nitroglycerin (explosives), aluminum sulfate (used in paper making), aluminum hydroxide (used in water treatment), hydrochloric acid and nitric acid. It is also used in the production of many plastics, dyes, perfume, disinfectant and in the petroleum refining industry.