What is Hydrochloric Acid Used For

What is Hydrochloric Acid Used ForGastric Acid functions by activating digestive enzymes within the stomach which aid to break down food material.

The stomach itself is guarded from damage by a secretion of a thick layer of mucous and by a hormone known as secretin which works as a neutralising buffer. 

Here are some uses of Hydrochloric Acid: 

1. To ‘pickle’ steel.  This is a process whereby rust and scale is removed from steel sheet or coil with the use of a dilute solution of Hydrochloric Acid.  The metal can then be processed

2. To manufacture organic compounds such as Vinyl Chloride and Dichloroethane which are used to produce PVC (Poly Vinyl Chloride)

3. To regulate the pH level in a wide range of manufacturing and treatment processes including the production of drinking water, pharmaceuticals, beverages and foods

4. In the processing of additives for the food industry including fructose, citric acid and hydrolyzed vegetable protein

Hydrochloric Acid Hazards

Hydrochloric acid (HCI) is a clear, colorless, nonflammable, highly acidic, corrosive and poisonous solution of hydrogen chloride and water. It has numerous major industrial uses. It is classified as a harmful material by the U.S. Department. People working with or close to hydrochloric acid must strictly adhere to security precautions. These contain wearing properly fitting safety glasses and gloves and ensuring appropriate ventilation.

Respiratory System Dangers:

Inhaling hydrochloric acid vapors could cause coughing, choking and inflammation of the nose, throat and upper respiratory system. Severe cases, typically as a outcome of either prolonged exposure or high concentrations of the acid, may cause pulmonary edema (fluid in the lungs), shock, circulatory failure and even death.

Eye Dangers:

HCI vapors are noticeably irritating to your eyes and in many cases are the first sign of the existence of the acid in the area. Prolonged exposure is likely to cause painful burning and could lead to temporary damage to your eyes. Actual contact to the eyes may cause reduced vision, severe burns, permanent damage and/or blindness.

Is Hydrochloric Acid a Compound

Hydrochloric acid is a compound of the elements chlorine and hydrogen, a gas in room temperature and pressure. A solution of the gas in water is referred to as HCI. Hydrogen chloride may be created by the direct mixture of hydrogen (H2) gas and chlorine (Cl2) gas; the reaction is quick at temperatures over 250° C (482° F). The reaction, symbolized by the equation H2 + Cl2 ? 2HCl, is accompanied through evolution of heat and seems to be accelerated by moisture. 

Hydrogen chloride is often prepared both on a laboratory and on an industrial scale from the reaction of a chloride, typically that of sodium (NaCl), with sulfuric acid (H2SO4). It is also made by the reaction of several chlorides (e.g., PCl3, phosphorus trichloride or SOCl2, thionyl chloride) with water and like a by product of the chlorination of numerous organic substances (e.g., benzene and methane).

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