Sulfuric acid(alternative spellingsulphuric acid) is a highly corrosive strong mineral acid with the molecular formula H2SO4 and molecular weight 98.079 g/mol. It is a pungent-ethereal, colorless to slightly yellow viscous liquid that is soluble in water at all concentrations. Sometimes, it is dyed dark brown during production to alert people to its hazards. The historical name of this acid isoil of vitriol.
Sulfuric acid is adiprotic acidand shows different properties depending upon its concentration. Its corrosiveness on other materials, likemetals,living tissuesor even stones, can be mainly ascribed to itsstrong acidic natureand, if concentrated,strong dehydratingandoxidizingproperties. Sulfuric acid at a highconcentrationcan cause very serious damage upon contact, since not only does it causechemical burnsviahydrolysis, but alsosecondary thermal burnsthroughdehydration.It can lead to permanent blindnessif splashed ontoeyesand irreversible damage if swallowed. Accordingly, safety precautions should be strictly observed when handling it. Moreover, it ishygroscopic, readily absorbingwater vaporfrom the air.
Sulfuric acid has a wide range of applications including indomestic acidic drain cleaners, as anelectrolyteinlead-acid batteriesand in variouscleaning agents. It is also a central substance in thechemical industry. Principal uses includemineral processing,fertilizermanufacturing,oil refining,wastewater processing, andchemical synthesis. It is widely produced with different methods, such ascontact process,wet sulfuric acid process,lead chamber processand some other methods.