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Concentrated sulphuric acid is a colourless, This process is exothermic and the acid can
odourless liquid. In air at room temperature, the reach temperatures as high as 180C to 200C.
concentrated acid gives off invisible toxic vapours. Most of this energy is recovered by a range of
From 30C, it gives off heavy, whitish, irritating means to minimise energy consumption.
vapours. The presence of impurities often turns Usually the acid is then cooled from around
the acid a yellow brown colour. H2SO4 is an 100C to close to ambient for storage.
aggressive oxidizer pose an additional problem as
they combine with oxygen and take up electrons. S+O2 >SO2
They tend to react with water and is commonly
used for pH balance in water treatment and for SO2 +1/2 O2>SO3
stripping, cleaning, and etching metals. H2SO4
embrittle many materials and cause them to stress
crack. Manufactured sulphuric acid exists as an
aqueous solution at various concentrations of SO3+H2O>H2SO4
10% to 98%.
Sulfuric acid is produced from sulfur dioxide,
which may be generated by burning sulfur, it may Thesulfurtrioxideisabsorbedinto9798%
be a by product of a metalurgical smelting process, H2SO4 toformoleum (H2S2O7),alsoknownas
or it may be produced by thermal decomposition fumingsulfuricacid.Theoleum isthendiluted
(regeneration) of spent acid. The sulphur dioxide is withwatertoformconcentratedsulfuricacid.
reacted with oxygen over a catalyst at 420 to
625 to form sulfur trioxide. The latter gas then H2SO4 (l)+SO3 H2S2O7 (l)
reacts with water in the absorbing towers to form
sulfuric acid. H2S2O7 (l)+H2O(l) 2H2SO4 (l)
Note that directly dissolving SO3 in water is
not practical due to the highly exothermic
nature of the reaction between sulfur
trioxide and water. The reaction forms a
corrosive aerosol that is very difficult to
separate, instead of a liquid.
SO3 (g) + H2O (l) H2SO4 (l)

Sulphuric acid is used in the manufacture of Properties
Molecularformula H2SO4
fertilisers (superphosphates), the synthetic Molarmass 98.079g/mol
textile industry, the iron and steelmaking Appearance:Clear,colorless,odorlessliquid
industry to remove oxidation, rust and scale, in Density 1.84g/cm3,liquid
ore processing, the oil industry, the Meltingpoint 10 C,283 K,50 F
Boilingpoint 337 C,610 K,639 F
manufacture of dyes, for electroplating, in the Solubility inwater miscible
explosive industry, in the paper industry, as a Acidity (pKa)3,1.99
dehydrating and sulphonating agent, and in Viscosity 26.7cP (20 C)
lead batteries, accumulator (accu). It is a liquid Thermochemistry Stdenthalpyofformation fHo298
814 kJmol1[1]
chemical which is transported in bulk.
Standardmolarentropy So298157 Jmol1K1[1]
In certain regions of the US, 93 % sulfuric SO3 acts as a stress cracking agent for PVC, CPVC, PP
acid has decreased in availability. and PVDF materials. Sulfuric acid with a concentration
However, the acid is readily available in 98 of 98 % is typically supplied in a concentration range
% concentrations, as this concentration is from 98.1 to 98.9 %. This has led to the new common
a biproduct of phosphate production. The terminology of 98+ % sulfuric acid (with SO3) attacks
reduction in availability of 93 %, both PVDF pipe and steel pipe.
combined with the cost savings of using Many thermoplastic materials will stand up to sulfuric
the more common 98 %, caused many acid applications. However, the presence of SO3 will
facilities to switch their acid supply from create stress cracks in the pipe material. These are
93 to 98 %. Many facilities running PVDF normally small longitudinal cracks, one to two inches,
piping systema assumed that there through the pipe wall.
would be no issue with using this acid in
their pipelines. A copolymer of ethylen chlorotrifluoroethylene ECTFE
In various sites, failures of piping systems is a proven solution for these problems. This material
occurred within three to six months of has been succesfully tested and used in sulfuric acid
changing to a higher concentration acid. and sulfur trioxide applications. The materials
In concentration of 98.3 percent or resistance to both sulfuric acid and the common
higher, sulfuric acid has a natural contaminant of SO3 makes it an ideal choice for a
contaminant, known as sulfur trioxide piping material. Its chemical resistance is superior to
(SO3). The SO3 associated with that of other plastics such as PVC, PP and PVDF.
concentrated sulfuric acid has very Compared to carbon steel pipe it is virtually
affinity for water, and can actually maintenance free, providing trouble free service for
chemically dehydrate polyester or vinyl at least 10 years.
ester to yield a charred surface.
Chemical Formula Conc.(%) Temp.C uPVC PE PP PVDF PVC/C ECTFE

Sulphur S 100 25 1 1 1 1 1
60 2 1 1 1
100 1
SulfurDioxide SO2 sat 25 1 1 1 1 1 1
60 2 1
100 1
SulfurDioxideDry all 25 1 1 1 1 1 1
60 1 1 1 1 1
100 3 1 1
SulfurDioxideLiq. 100 25 2 1 1
60 3 2 1
100 1
SulfurTrioxide SO3 100 25 2 3 3 3 2 1
60 2 3 3 3 2 1
Sulphuric Acid H2SO4 10 25 1 1 1 1 1 1
60 1 1 1 1 1 1
100 1 1 1 1
75 25 1 1 1 1 1 1
60 2 2 2 1 1
100 2 1 2 1
90 25 1 2 1 1 1 1
60 2 2 2 1 1
100 3 1 3 1
96 25 2 2 3 1 1 1
60 3 2 3 2 3 1
100 3 3 3 1
SulfuricAcidFuming all 25 2 3 3 2 1
60 3 3 3 2 1
100 3 3 1
Sulfuric acid contained in metal may form an iron
sulfate scum on the surface. While this provides
some protection from corrosion if undisturbed. It
can pose an unacceptable contamination threat
for high purity applications.

PVDFpipefailureduetothe 4.lowmaintenance
presenceofsulfurtrioxide 5.goodcleanability
Sulfuric acid is an aggressive oxidizer. It
ECTFE piping system save handling for the
has an affinity for water and is commonly
transport of highly aggressive chemicals. ECTFE
used for pH balance in water treatment
provides excellent chemical resistance and high
and for stripping, cleaning, and etching
mechanical strength even at high temperatures.
metals. Stainless steel can be used to
ECTFE shows a remarkable hardness and excellent
contain Sulfuric Acid at very low (less than
chemical resistance to most organic and in organic
6 PVDFpipefailureduetothe
%) and very high (over 90 %). Conc., but
chemicals (pH value 0 to 14, max 140C) as well as
not in the middle range.
presenceofsulfurtrioxide solvents (max. 120C)
Sulphuric acidH2SO498% ECTFEisprimarilyusedinthechemical,
HydrochloricacidHCL37% semiconductor,photovoltaic,pharmaceuticaland
HydrofluoricacidHF90% petrochemicalindustriesforthefollowingapplication
SodiumhydroxideNaOH 50% areas:
HydrogenperoxideH2O260% Supplysystemforchemicals
NitricacidHNO365% Processequipmentanddistributionpipingsystems
Solvents Hotultrapurewatersystems
Chorineandchlorinecompounds Doublecontainmentpipingsystems
ECTFE is distinguished from other materials Ventilationpipingforaggressivemediaandhigh
by its barrier properties. The permeation of puritymedia
oxygen, carbon dioxide, chloric gas or Liningascorrosionprotectionforsteel,FRPand
hydrochloric acid is 10 to 100times better concretetanks
compared to e.g PTFE or FEP.
ECTFE in comparison to PFA : cost efficient in Stableandhighlyresistanttocrackgrowth
material and installation; smoother surface; Ultrapureandflameresistant(FM4910testedraw
higher permeation resistance; larger material;UL94VO)
dimension range (up to 110 mm/ 4inch); and Physiologicalnontoxicapplication
lower heat expansion. Resistanttohighpressure