What is the importance of HCL acids from industrial point of view?

Asked by Janu5320 | 18th Jun, 2008, 03:29: PM

Expert Answer:

Hydrochloric acid is a strong inorganic acid that is used in many industrial processes. The application often determines the required product quality.

1.Regeneration of ion exchangers

An important application of high-quality hydrochloric acid is the regeneration of ion exchange resins. Cation exchange is widely used to remove ions such as Na+ and Ca2+ from aqueous solutions, producing demineralized water.

Na+ is replaced by H3O+
Ca2+ is replaced by 2 H3O+

 

2.pH Control and neutralization

A very common application of hydrochloric acid is to regulate the basicity (pH) of solutions.

OH + HCl → H2O + Cl

In industry demanding purity (food, pharmaceutical, drinking water), high-quality hydrochloric acid is used to control the pH of process water streams. In less-demanding industry, technical-quality hydrochloric acid suffices for neutralizing waste streams and swimming pool treatment.

 

3.Pickling of steel

Pickling is an essential step in metal surface treatment, to remove rust or iron oxide scale from iron or steel before subsequent processing, such as extrusion, rolling, galvanizing, and other techniques. Technical-quality HCl at typically 18% concentration is the most commonly-used pickling agent for the pickling of carbon steel grades.

Fe2O3 + Fe + 6 HCl → 3 FeCl2 + 3 H2O

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4. Production of inorganic compounds

Numerous products can be produced with hydrochloric acid in normal acid-base reactions, resulting in inorganic compounds. These include water treatment chemicals such as iron(III) chloride and polyaluminium chloride (PAC).

Fe2O3 + 6 HCl → 2 FeCl3 + 3 H2O

Both iron(III) chloride and PAC are used as flocculation and coagulation agents in wastewater treatment, drinking water production, and paper production.

5.Production of organic compounds

The largest hydrochloric acid consumption is in the production of organic compounds such as vinyl chloride for PVC.  Other organic compounds produced with hydrochloric acid include bisphenol A for polycarbonate, activated carbon, and ascorbic acid, as well as numerous pharmaceutical products.

6. Other applications

Hydrochloric acid is a fundamental chemical, and as such it is used for a large number of small-scale applications, such as leather processing, household cleaning, and building construction.

Answered by  | 21st Jun, 2008, 04:32: PM

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