- A mineral acid is an acid derived
by chemical reaction from inorganic minerals, as opposed to organic
- 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.
- 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
- 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
- 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
- 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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