Hydrochloric acid or muriatic acid is a colorless inorganic chemical system with the formula H2O:HCl. Hydrochloric acid has a distinctive pungent smell. It is classified as strongly acidic and can attack the skin over a wide composition range, since the hydrogen chloride completely dissociates in aqueous solution. Hydrochloric acid is the simplest chlorine-based acid system containing water. It is a solution of hydrogen chloride and water, and a variety of other chemical species, including hydronium and chloride ions. It is an important chemical reagent and industrial chemical, used in the production of polyvinyl chloride for plastic. In households, diluted hydrochloric acid is often used as a descaling agent. In the food industry, hydrochloric acid is used as a food additive and in the production of gelatin. Hydrochloric acid is also used in leather processing. Hydrochloric acid was discovered by the alchemist Jabir ibn Hayyan around the year 800 AD. It was historically called acidum salisand spirits of salt because it was produced from rock salt and "green vitriol" (Iron(II) sulfate) (by Basilius Valentinus in the 15th century) and later from the chemically similar common salt and sulfuric acid (by Johann Rudolph Glauber in the 17th century). Free hydrochloric acid was first formally described in the 16th century by Libavius. Later, it was used by chemists such as Glauber, Priestley, and Davy in their scientific research. Unless pressurized or cooled, hydrochloric acid will turn into a gas if there is around 60% or less of water. Hydrochloric acid is also known as hydronium chloride, in contrast to its anhydrous parent known as hydrogen chloride, or dry HCl.
agrochemicals, crop protection & fertilizers, building & construction, chemical anchors, concrete & mortar additives, construction adhesives, road construction, wire & cable insulation, detergents, food industry, cleaning products for installations in food industry, fuel industry, I&I cleaning, lubricants and functional fluids, industrial lubricants, metalworking fluids, metallurgical industry, metal cleaning, metalworking, mining & drilling, coal mining, fire resistant hydraulic fluids, metal mining, oil&gas extraction, oilfield, paints & coatings, personal care, plastics, polymer additives, power industry, raw materials and intermediates, tanning industry, textile industry, water & wastewater treatment, antiscalants, scale & corrosion inhibitors, wastewater treatment, water treatment.
One interesting thing about Hydrochloric acid is that our stomachs make this chemical naturally which further helps in the digestion of food. Hydrochloric acid acidifies the stomach contents.
This acid is also found primarily in several industries like rubber, textiles, and even in photography. It is also a common item in homes. Having said that, there are a lot of uses of Hydrochloric acid. Industrially, it is used to process steel, in the production of batteries, fireworks and more. Let’s have a look at some of the uses of HCL in detail.
5 Common Uses of Hydrochloric Acid
• Production of Organic Compounds
• Production of Inorganic Compounds
• Removing metal stains
• Oil production
• Purification of Table Salt, and pH Control
1. Production of Organic Compounds
Hydrochloric acid/is used in the production of organic compounds like vinyl chloride and dichloroethane for plastics or PVC (Polyvinyl Chloride), bisphenol A, and many others.
2. Production of Inorganic Compounds
This acid is used to prepare compounds that are used as water treatment chemicals. Some examples include polyaluminium chloride (PAC), iron(III) chloride, ferric acid, aluminum carbohydrate which are used in treating the water. It is also used in the regeneration of ion exchange resins and it is specifically used to rinse the cations from the resins.
3. Removing Metal Stains and Cleaning Stone and Tiles
Hydrochloric acid is highly corrosive and because of this nature, it is used as a chemical to remove stains or rust especially from metals like iron, copper, and others. It is often used in a diluted form. Hydrochloric acid is commonly used for cleaning tiles in kitchens and bathrooms and it also disinfects thoroughly. It is also used in the textile industry for bleaching clothes and process leather in the leather tanning industry.
4. For Purification of Table Salt and pH Control
This acid is used to purify table salts. Further, HCl is used mostly for regulating the acidity (pH) of solutions and it is used in controlling pH of pharmaceutical products, foods, and water.
5. For Oil Production
Hydrochloric acid is used in the production of oil production. Generally, HCl acid is injected into a rock where due to the reaction the rock forms large-pore structures. Now, this significantly assists in oil production.
These are some of the popular uses of Hydrochloric acid. To know more about the properties and structure of acids and bases you can keep visiting BYJU’s or download our app for interesting content and learning experience.