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Properties of Sulfuric acid

1.Physical
2.Chemical
1.Standard Reactions
3.Structural
Manufacturing Process
Industrial and Laboratory Usage
Environmental and Health Issues

Chemical Formula:
Appearance:
Texture:
Molar Mass:
Boiling Point:
Melting Point:
Density:
Heat Capacity:

H2SO4
Transparent [colourless]
Oily
98.078g/mol
315-338C
10.35C
1.84g/cc [25C]
1.414J/Kg

Acidity:
Acid Type:
Corrosiveness:
Reactivity:
Solubility:
Oxidizing Power:
Volatility:

-3 pH
Diprotic
Very High
High
Miscible
High
Low

Metal Sulfuric acid Metalsulfate Hydrogen


Metal Sulfuric acid
Hot concentrated

Metalsulfate

Sulfur
dioxide Water

Metal carbonate Sulfuric acid Metalsulfate Carbon dioxide water


X 2 CO3 x xH 2 SO4 X 2 SO4 x xCO2 xH 2O

Base Sulfuric Acid MetalSalt Water


2 X OH x xH 2 SO4 X 2 SO4 x 2 xH 2O
Ammonia Sulfuric acid Ammonium sulfate
2NH 3 H 2 SO4 NH 4 2 SO4

O
H

S
O

The Contact
S O SO
Process
(g)

S( s )
O2( g )

2( g )

Combustio
n
Chamber

Recycling of Unreacted Material

2( g )

SO2( g )
[Impurities]

Purifier
Electrostat
ic
Precipitato
r

SO2( g )
[98%]

Conversio
n
Chamber
T = 450C
P = 12atm
V2O5

SO3( g )

H 2 S 2O7( aq ) H 2O(l ) H 2 SO4( aq )

H2SO4

Hydratio
n of
Disulfuri
c Acid

H 2 S2O7( aq )

SO3( g )
Wet
Sulfuri
c Acid

H 2 SO4( aq )
Absorptio
n Towers

SO3( g ) H 2O( l ) H 2 SO4( l )

SO3( g ) H 2 SO4( aq ) H 2 S 2O7( aq )

The Contact Process


Step by step of contact process
1.Combustion of sulfur to sulfur dioxide
2. Oxidation of sulfur dioxide to sulfur trioxide
3. Reaction of sulfur trioxide and sulfuric acid
4.Hydration of disulfuric acid yielding sulfuric acid as product
Equations of contact process
1.S(s) + O2(g) SO2(g)
2.2SO2(g) + O2(g) 2SO3(g)
[Done via a vanadium oxide catalyst V O ]
3.(a) SO3(g) + H2O(l) H2SO4 (aq)
[WSAP]
(b) SO3(g) + H2SO4 (aq) H2S2O7 (aq) [DCDA]
4. H2S2O7 (aq) + H2O(l) 2H2SO4 (aq)
2

An electrochemical

[1]

cell capable of a
reverse reaction.
Sulfuric acid is used as
the electrolyte solution
Cathode reaction:
PbO2 (s) +4H+ (aq) + 2e Pb2+ +2H2O (l)

[2]

Anode reaction:

Pb (s) Pb2+ (aq) +2e[1} - http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/en/6/64/Leadacid_discharging.svg


[2] - http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/en/1/1c/Leadacid_charging.svg

English land-owner John Lawes discovered in

1842 a technique to produce a


superphosphate.
Supplies soil with the required nutrients for

healthy growth

Pickling is the treatment of metallic surfaces to

remove impurities, stains and rust via a solution.


The surface is dipped in a solution known as a
pickle liquor which is usually an acid.
Two most commonly used acids are sulfuric and
hydrochloric.
Due to the pickle liquors corrosive properties,
hydrogen embrittlement can occur.
Hydrogen from the acid reacts with the metal
surface causing cracks and thus an overall loss in
strength.

The drying capability of sulfuric acid enables it to char

organic molecules; as water is extracted.


This effect can be observed when concentrated sulfuric
acid is added to sucrose.
Since sucrose is a carbohydrate, when the water is
extracted we are left with elemental carbon
C11H22O12 (s) + 11H2SO4 (aq) 12C(s) + 11[H2SO4 . H2O]

[1]

[1] Slater B, The chemistry dimension

Due to sulfuric acids low

volatility it can be used in the


manufacture of other acids such
as HCl, HF, HNO3.
The general equation is shown
below.
2XyYx + xyH2SO4
[SO4]x

2xHyY + yX2

Where:
XyYx = Salt
X = Metal component
Y = Non metal component
x,y = valence of x and y respectively

This is not the case for the

preparation of some acids, as


the reactions will only proceed
at high temperatures [550600]o
The second equation is for salts

that have a high reaction rate.

XyYx +xyH2SO4 xHyY + yX

[H2SO4]x

Due to its dehydrating ability,

contact with the skin will result


in third degree burns.
Occurs because the reaction is

exothermic, as the amount of


water drawn from the skin
increases, the intensity also
increases
Sulfuric acid produced in the

earths atmosphere is
transferred to Earth most
commonly as precipitation
called acid rain.

Generally has a pH between

4.3 -5.0.
Caused mainly by industrial

emissions such as
combustion of fossil fuels
causing particular emissions
of SO2 and NOx
Decaying vegetation and

erupting volcanoes contribute


up to 20% of the emissions of
SO2 and NOx