Sulfuric acid (H₂SO₄)
A colorless, viscous liquid, a highly corrosive, strong acid used in several industrial processes.
sulphuric acid, acid, strong acid, oxoacid, acidity, hygroscopic, diprotic acid, oxidation, dehydration, passivating, sulfates, battery, inorganic chemistry, chemistry
Sulfuric acid H₂SO₄
Molar mass: 98.07 g/mol
Melting point: 10.36 °C (50.65 °F)
Boiling point: 330 °C (572 °F)
Density: 1.841 g/cm³ (0.0665 lb/in³)
Sulfuric acid is a colorless, viscous, hygroscopic liquid. It dissolves in water in all proportions, and the process is highly exothermic. Concentrated sulfuric acid dehydrates organic substances and carbonizes them. When it comes in contact with the skin, it causes serious burns; therefore it must be diluted by slowly adding the concentrated acid to a large amount of water, while stirring continuously.
Sulfuric acid is a strong acid and a strong oxidant. Its salts are called sulfates. Dilute sulfuric acid dissolves metals of a standard electrode potential lower than hydrogen (aluminium, zinc and iron), while producing hydrogen – but it does not react with copper. Concentrated sulfuric acid also dissolves metals of a positive standard electrode potential (copper and silver), while producing sulfur dioxide.
Unlike dilute sulfuric acid, concentrated sulfuric acid deactivates iron; it is therefore possible to store it in iron tanks.
Occurrence and production
Sulfuric acid occurs naturally in its salts: gypsum (or calcium sulfate) and cupric sulfate (or copper sulfate). It is produced in the contact process. The process involves the oxidation of sulfur dioxide to produce sulfur trioxide, which is then absorbed by concentrated sulfuric acid. The resulting oleum can be diluted to produce sulfuric acid of any concentration.
Sulfuric acid is used in the production of fertilizers, dyes, medicines and explosives as well as in oil refining. It is also used as the electrolyte in lead-acid car batteries.
Colorless, moderate acid, only known in aqueous solution.
A compound of sulfur often used as a pesticide.
A colorless, toxic gas with the characteristic odor of rotten eggs. It occurs in certain mineral waters and spring waters.
Electrochemical processes in a lead-acid battery produce electric current.
A compound ion produced when sulfuric acid releases a proton.
An odorless, yellow, solid substance, the 16th most common in the Earth´s crust. One of the best known sulfur compounds is pyrite, also known as ´fool´s gold´.
Sulfur dioxide emission is the main cause of acid rains. It is an intermediate product in the production of sulfuric acid.
One of the oxides of sulfur, forms sulfuric acid with water.
One of the oxoacids of nitrogen. Colorless, moderate acid with a pungent odor, that exists only in aqueous solution.