[MANUFACTURED SUBSTANCES IN INDUSTRY]
September 20, 2010
Uses of Sulphuric Acid
Sulphuric acid is very important industrially, and has many uses including:a.
The production of fertilisers such as ammonium sulphate, potassium sulphate, calciumsuperphosphate (Ca(H<2PO4)2), etc.; these are straight fertilisers, as they supply one of the important elements of nitrogen, phosphorus, or potassium (NPK);b.
The manufacture of non-soapy detergents: modern detergents are organic compounds'sulphonated' with concentrated sulphuric acid;c.
The making of artificial silks like rayon: here, the fine threads in the alkaline cellulosesolution are neutralised by passing them through a bath of sulphuric acid;d.
The cleaning of metals by removing the surface oxide coating: this is called pickling andis important in preparing articles for electroplating.e.
Its use as an electrolyte inside batteries for cars: most car batteries are made up of leadplates in a sulphuric acid electrolyte; occasionally, the electrolyte needs to be 'toppedup' with distilled water ; this is because small amounts of hydrogen and oxygen gasesare given off by the chemical changes inside the battery, and therefore the sulphuricacid loses water and becomes too concentrated ; in the manufacture of drugs, paints,dyes and many other chemicals .
Manufacture of Sulphuric Acid: The Contact Process
The large-scale manufacture of this acid is extremely important as it is the mostcommon acid used in industry, with over 1 000 million metric tonnes being producedannually.
It is manufactured by the Contact Process.
Combustion of Sulphur sulphur + oxygen sulphur dioxide
S (s) + O
(g) ---> SO
Heating of metal sulphide such as lead(II) sulphide
2PbS(s) + 3O
(g) ---> 2PbO(s) + 2SO
or Combustion of hiydrogen sulphide
2H2S(g) + 3O
(g) ---> 2SO
(g) + 2H2O(ce)