Sulfuric Acid for pH Neutralization

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Sulfuric Acid

There are many chemicals available on the market today that are suitable for use as neutralization chemicals. The most commonly used chemicals are discussed in an article available here:  Neutralization Chemicals.


Sulfuric Acid H2SO4

Sulfuric Acid H2SO4: The most widely used and produced chemical in the world. Available in concentrations ranging from 0% to 98% sulfuric is also the least expensive acid to use. Sulfuric acid is used almost universally for neutralization reactions. It is easier and safer to use than HCl or HNO3 and is more potent than all of the other acids except for phosphoric. Although adverse reactions are always a possibility, they are rare. If calcium is present then calcium sulfate (CaSO4), also known as gypsum, will precipitate. Unless calcium is abundantly present this is not an issue. Sulfuric acid is typically used in concentrations ranging from 25% to 96%.

Sulfuric acid is a two normal solution which means that for each mole of sulfuric two moles of H+ or acid are liberated packing twice the punch than an equivalent molar concentration of hydrochloric acid, for example.

One mole of sulfuric acid will neutralize two moles of sodium hydroxide, as follows:

2NaOH + H2SO4 → Na2(SO)4 + 2H20

As with any concentrated acid extreme caution must be exercised when working in the area of sulfuric acid. Sulfuric acid will quickly decompose organic material including human flesh. Additionally the neutralization of sulfuric acid or pH neutralization reactions involving sulfuric will liberate heat, especially when concentrated chemicals are neutralized.

Generally this is a safe and inexpensive acid to use for the neutralization of alkaline materials.

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