Describe the importance of sulphuric acid. Identify five products made using sulphuric acid.

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bandmanjoe eNotes educator| Certified Educator

Sulfuric acid is a strong mineral acid with the moleculat formula of H2SO4 (subscripts).  Sulfuric acid is soluble in water at all concentrations, weak to strong, and has many industrial applications.  Sufuric acid is considered a basic substance in the chemical industry, and is used in the production of lead-acid batteries in cars and other motor vehicles.  Other applied industrial uses are ore processing, artificial fertilizer manufacture, oil refining, wastewater processing, and chemical synthesis in the pharmaceutical industry.

Pure sulfuric acid is a viscous, clear liquid, like oil.  This explains why it's historical name was vitriol, or "oil of vitriol".  Sulfuric acid is formed naturally by the oxidation of sulfide materials, such as iron sulfide.  The sulfide has a great affinity for water, and is instrumental in the formation of acid rain.

Sulfuric acid is available commercially.  Great care must be taken when working with sulfuric acid as it can cause severe chemical burns.  When encountering sulfuric acid spills, Sodium bicarbonate (baking soda) is an effective neutralizer to prevent harmful accidents.

edobro | Student

Sulfuric acid is a very important commodity chemical, and indeed, a nation's sulfuric acid production is a good indicator of its industrial strength.[14] World production in 2004 was about 180 million tonnes, with the following geographic distribution: Asia 35%, North America (incluing Mexico) 24%, Africa 11%, Western Europe 10%, Eastern Europe and Russia 10%, Australia and Oceania 7%, South America 7%.[15]Most of this amount (~60%) is consumed for fertilizers, particularly superphosphates, ammonium phosphate and ammonium sulfates. About 20% is used in chemical industry for production of detergents, synthetic resins, dyestuffs, pharmaceuticals, petroleum catalysts, insecticides and antifreeze, as well as in various processes such as oil well acidicizing, aluminium reduction, paper sizing, water treatment. About 6% of uses are related to pigments and include paints, enamels, printing inks, coated fabrics and paper, and the rest is dispersed into a multitude of applications such as production of explosives, cellophane, acetate and viscose textiles, lubricants, non-ferrous metals and batteries.


Also if you need to find Sulfuric Acid you can buy it on a car-shop or any petrol station,it is used in car batteries and it comes in a 37% concetration, but you need to be very careful when using it,because it is very corrosive and it can cause fatal damages to your skin.

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