acid is a solution of hydrogen fluoride in water. Hydrofluoric
acid is a weak acid.
fluoride, often in the aqueous form as hydrofluoric acid, is a
valued source of fluorine, being the precursor to numerous
pharmaceuticals , diverse polymers , and most other synthetic
materials that contain fluorine.
acid is best known to the public for its ability to dissolve glass
by reacting with SiO2, the major component of most glasses.
Industrially, hydrofluoric acid is produced by treatment of the
mineral fluorite (CaF2) with concentrated sulfuric acid.
fluoride is generated upon combustion of many
fluorine-containing compounds such as products containing Viton
and Teflon parts.
fluoride converts immediately to hydrofluoric acid upon contact
with liquid water.
Hydrofluoric acid is obtained from fluosilicic acid in reaction
with concentrated sulphuric acid.
Hydrofluoric acid has ability to dissolve metal oxides hence
it is used in the purification of both aluminium and uranium.
Hydrofluoric acid is used to etch glass, to remove surface
oxides from silicon in the semiconductor industry.
Hydrofluoric acid is used as a catalyst for the alkylation of
isobutane and butene in oil refineries, and to remove oxide
impurities from stainless steel in a process called pickling.
hydrofluoric acid is sold as a household rust stain remover.
HF acid is also used in car washes as a "wheel cleaner"
Hydrofluoric acid is corrosive and a contact poison. It
should be handled with extreme care, beyond that accorded to
other mineral acids, in part because of its low dissociation
constant, which allows HF to penetrate tissue more quickly.
Symptoms of exposure to hydrofluoric acid may not be
immediately evident. HF interferes with nerve function and
burns may not initially be painful.
Accidental exposures can go unnoticed, delaying treatment
and increasing the extent and seriousness of the injury.
More seriously, it can absorb into blood through skin and
react with blood calcium, causing cardiac arrest. In some
cases, exposures can lead to hypocalcemia.
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