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Information @ a Glance


  • A mineral acid is an acid derived by chemical reaction from inorganic minerals, as opposed to organic acids.
  • Mineral acids have hydrogen(s) atoms covalently bonded with an anion, such as sulphate, or chloride, depending on the charge of the anion.
  • Mineral acids range from acids of great strength (example: sulfuric acid) to very weak (boric acid).
  • As mineral acid molecules tend to consist of only a few atoms, of which many are polar, they tend to be very soluble in water, and insoluble in organic solvents. Mineral acids are very important to chemical procedures.

Production Process

  • Hydrochloric acid is prepared by dissolving hydrogen chloride in water. Hydrogen chloride can be generated in many ways, and thus several precursors to hydrochloric acid exist. The large-scale production of hydrochloric acid is almost always integrated with other industrial scale chemicals production.
  • Nitric acid is made by mixing nitrogen dioxide (NO2) with water in the presence of oxygen or air to oxidize the nitrous acid also produced by the reaction.
  • In laboratory, nitric acid can be made from copper(II) nitrate or by reacting approximately equal masses of potassium nitrate (KNO3) with 96% sulfuric acid (H2SO4), and distilling this mixture at nitric acid's boiling point of 83 C until only a white crystalline mass, potassium hydrogen sulfate (KHSO4), remains in the reaction vessel. The obtained red fuming nitric acid may be converted to the white nitric acid.
  • Phosphoric acid can be prepared by two routes - the Thermal Process and the Wet Process. Wet process phosphoric acid is prepared by adding sulfuric acid to calcium phosphate rock.


  • Mineral acids are most often used in large-scale industries. For example, a dilute solution of hydrochloric acid is used for removing the deposits from the inside of boilers, with precautions taken to prevent the corrosion of the boiler by the acid. This process is known as de-scaling. Therefore, large quantities of these acids, especially sulfuric acid, nitric acid and hydrochloric acid are manufactured for commercial use in large plants.


  • Sulfur and sulfuric acid will continue to be important in agricultural and industrial applications, although consumption will be less than production.
  • Sulfuric acid consumption for phosphate fertilizer production was expected to increase at a lower rate than some other uses, phosphate may become less dominant in sulfur consumption but remain the leading end use.
  • Demand for nitric acid is largely dependent upon demand for solid ammonium nitrate fertilizer and nitrogen fertilizer solutions that incorporate ammonium nitrate.

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