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Concentrated and Dilute Acids

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  • Last Updated : 06 Jan, 2022

A Lewis acid is a molecule or ion that is capable of either donating a proton (H+) or forming a covalent bond with an electron pair. The proton donors, also known as Bronsted–Lowry acids, are the first type of acid. Proton donors in aqueous solutions form the hydronium ion H3O+ and are known as Arrhenius acids. The Arrhenius theory was expanded by Bronsted and Lowry to include non-aqueous solvents. A Bronsted or Arrhenius acid is typically composed of a hydrogen atom bonded to a chemical structure that remains energetically favourable after the loss of H+.

The properties of aqueous Arrhenius acids provide a practical description of an acid. Acids react with water to produce aqueous solutions with a sour taste. This solution dissociates and produces H+ ions, which combine with water molecules to form H3O+. When this acid solution combines with bases and certain metals, it can turn blue litmus red and generate salts (such as calcium). An aqueous solution of an acid with a pH less than 7 is referred to colloquially as acid, whereas the strict definition refers only to the solute. A lower pH indicates greater acidity and, as a result, a higher concentration of positive hydrogen ions in the solution. Acidic chemicals or substances are those that have acidic properties.

Concentrated Acid

Concentrated acid is one that is either pure or has a high concentration. Sulphuric acid of laboratory-grade (98 % by weight) is a concentrated (and potent) acid. 

Some concentrated acids are as follows:

Sulphuric Acid

Sulphuric acid (H2SO4) is a strong acid that is both hygroscopic and oxidising. Sulfuric acid is a mineral acid with the chemical formula H2SO4. Sulfuric acid and Oil of vitriol are two other names for sulfuric acid. It is corrosive and has a strong acidic nature. It acts as an oxidising and dehydrating agent at higher concentrations. It is a syrupy liquid that is odourless and colourless. It is water-soluble and, when dissolved in water, emits heat. It is commonly used in the production of fertilisers. It is also employed in chemical synthesis and wastewater treatment. Anhydrous sulfuric acid is a very polar liquid with a dielectric constant of around 100. It is possibly the most important heavy industrial chemical, with widespread applications in a variety of industries.

Uses of Sulphuric Acid:

  1. It is used in the production of fertilisers.
  2. It is used in the manufacture of steel and iron.
  3. It is employed in the chemical manufacturing industry.
  4. It is used in the refining of petroleum.
  5. It is used in the production of phosphoric acid.
  6. It is used in industries as a cleaning agent to remove rust from steel and iron.
  7. It is used as a catalyst in the conversion of cyclohexanone oxime to caprolactam, which is used to make nylon.
  8. It is used as an electrolyte in lead-acid batteries.
  9. It is used in the production of ammonium sulphate.
  10. It’s found in storage batteries.

Hydrochloric Acid

Hydrochloric acid is a chemical that is inorganic. It has the chemical formula HCl and is a strong corrosive acid. It is also known as muriatic acid or hydrogen chloride. HCl is formed when hydrogen chloride is dissolved in water. It is a straightforward diatomic molecule. A single covalent bond connects the hydrogen and chlorine atoms. Because the chlorine atom is more electronegative than the hydrogen atom, the bond between them is polar.

It has high acidity. It has no colour and is very viscous. It is highly corrosive and has a distinct pungent odour. It is widely used in industry and as a laboratory reagent. It is used in the tanning of leather and the production of gelatin. The physical properties of HCl, such as density, melting point, PH, and boiling point, are affected by its molarity or concentration.

HCl acid in Stomach

Hydrochloric acid, enzymes, and mucus covering that protect the stomach lining are all found in stomach secretions. Hydrochloric acid aids the body in breaking down, digesting, and drinking calcium-rich foods. It also kills stomach bacteria and viruses, keeping your body safe from infection. Hydrochloric acid (HCl), potassium chloride (KCl), and sodium chloride make up stomach acid (NaCl). The pH of a healthy stomach is usually between 1.0 and 2.0. This low stomach fluid level normally keeps microbes at bay. However, around the same time, these pH levels put stomach acid in the same category as battery acid, which can melt steel.

Uses of HCl:

  1. It is used in the manufacture of chlorides.
  2. It is used in the rubber industry.
  3. It is used in the manufacture of fertilisers.
  4. It is widely used in the textile industry.
  5. It is used in the production of dye.
  6. It is used in metal refining.
  7. It is used in the manufacture of organic compounds such as PVC.
  8. It is used to control the pH of solutions.
  9. It is used to increase oil production.

Dilute Acid

Dilute acids have high water content. With the addition of water, a concentrated acid can be diluted. All acids, whether organic or inorganic, produce hydrogen ions (H+) in water. Strong acids are those that produce a large number of hydrogen ions in water. Strong acids include hydrochloric acid, nitric acid, and sulfuric acid. Weak acids are those that release a few hydrogen ions in water. Organic acids that are weak acids include acetic acid, citric acid, and tartaric acid. 

Some examples of dilute acids are:

Acetic acid

It has the formula CH3COOH and is an organic compound. It’s a carboxylic acid with a methyl group attached to a carboxyl functional group. The systematic IUPAC name for acetic acid is ethanoic acid, and its chemical formula is C2H4O2. Vinegar is a water-based acetic acid solution containing between 5% and 20% ethanoic acid by volume. Acetic acid, which is present in it, gives it a pungent smell and a sour taste. The term “glacial acetic acid” refers to an undiluted solution of acetic acid. At temperatures below 16.6 degrees Celsius, it forms crystals that resemble ice. As a polar, protic solvent, it has a wide range of applications. Glacial acetic acid is commonly employed in analytical chemistry to evaluate weakly alkaline compounds.

Uses of Acetic Acid:

  1. Because of its antibacterial properties, acetic acid is used as an antiseptic.
  2. Ethanoic acid is used in the production of rayon fibre.
  3. Acetic acid has been used to treat cancer through direct injection into the tumour.
  4. Because it is the main component of vinegar, it is used in the pickling of many vegetables.
  5. Ethanoic acid is used in the production of rubber. It is also used in the production of a variety of perfumes.
  6. It is widely used in the manufacture of VAM (vinyl acetate monomer).
  7. Acetic anhydride is formed when two molecules of acetic acid undergo a condensation reaction together.

Formic Acid

HCOOH is the chemical formula for formic acid, which is a colourless, fuming liquid with a distinctly unpleasant odour. Formic acid is formally known as methanoic acid. The common names for simple carboxylic acids are derived from their Latin or Greek names. Although formic acid is not commonly used as a solvent, it is interesting as an example of an aprotic solvent with high acidity. Formic acid and its salts are corrosive and can cause skin sensitization. The eyes are mildly irritated by sodium format.

Uses of Formic Acid

  1. Because it is unable to remove iron oxide deposits when used alone, it is combined with citric acid or HCl.
  2. In the group of saturated monocarboxylic acids, it is widely used in major industrial chemicals.
  3. As a reducing agent, it is used to reduce sodium and potassium dichromate.
  4. Useful in the dyeing and tanning industries, but other competing acids have generally been cheaper, limiting the use of formic acid to a few cases where it has unique advantages.

Sample Questions

Question 1: What is sulfuric acid used for?


The primary use of sulfuric acid is in the production of fertilisers such as lime super phosphate and ammonium sulphate. It is widely used in chemical processing, such as the production of hydrochloric acid, nitric acid, sulphate salts, synthetic detergents, dyes and pigments, explosives, and pharmaceuticals.

Question 2: How do you neutralize sulfuric acid?


Pour the baking soda directly into the acid spill. This will neutralise light acids like vinegar as well as toxic, strong acids like muriatic and sulphuric acid. To neutralise the acid, saturate the entire contaminated area with baking soda (sodium bicarbonate, NaHCO3).

Question 3: What is concentrated dilute acid?


A dilute acid is one that is not very concentrated. We can dilute an acid solution even more by adding water. The acid’s proclivity to dissociate into an aqueous solution, regardless of concentration, is classified as high and weak. Concentrated acid is a solution containing a high molar concentration of hydrogen ions.

Question 4: Is dilute acid dangerous?


Dilute acids are labelled with a warning symbol to indicate that they may irritate your skin or cause other minor health problems. It ensures that if one of them comes into contact with your skin, it will turn red or blistered.

Question 5: Does dilute HCl conduct electricity?


Power conductivity is a property of ionic systems. As a result of the formation of ions, hydrochloric acid (HCl in water solution) can conduct electricity. Unless you add hydrogen chloride (pure HCl) to the water, this does not conduct electricity.

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