Uses of Hydrochloric Acid

Hydrochloric acid is formed when Hydrogen Chloride gas is mixed in water. When the reaction takes place Hydrochloric acid also known as Muriatic Acid forms giving out a pungent smell and is basically an odourless and colourless solution. Each molecule of HCl is composed of a one-to-one ratio of hydrogen and chlorine. It is a highly corrosive chemical compound and can be toxic as well.

Applications/Uses of Hydrochloric acid

One interesting thing about Hydrochloric acid is that our stomachs makes this chemical naturally which further helps in the digestion of food. Hydrochloric acid acidifies the stomach contents.

This acid is also found primarily in several industries like rubber, textiles, and even in photography.It is also a common item in homes. Having said that, there are a lot of uses of Hydrochloric acid. Industrially, is used to process steel, in the production of batteries, fireworks and more. Let’s have a look at some of the uses in detail.

  • Production of Organic Compounds
  • Production of Inorganic Compounds
  • Removing metal stains
  • Oil production
  • Purification of Table Salt / Neutralization and pH Control

Production of Organic Compounds

Hydrochloric acid/is used in the production of organic compounds like vinyl chloride and dichloroethane for plastics or PVC (Polyvinyl Chloride), bisphenol A, and many others.

Production of Inorganic Compounds

This acid is used to prepare compounds that are used as water treatment chemicals. Some examples include polyaluminium chloride (PAC), iron(III) chloride, ferric acid, aluminium carbohydrate which are used in treating the water. It is also used in the regeneration of ion exchange resins and it is specifically used to rinse the cations from the resins.

Removing Metal Stains and Cleaning Stone and Tiles

Hydrochloric acid is highly corrosive and because of this nature, it is used as a chemical to remove stains or rust especially from metals like iron, copper, and others. It is often used in a diluted form. Hydrochloric acid is commonly used for cleaning tiles in kitchens and bathrooms and it also disinfects thoroughly. It is also used in the textile industry for bleaching clothes and process leather in the leather tanning industry.

For the Purification of Table Salt and in pH Control

This acid is used to purify table salts. Further, HCl is used mostly for regulating the acidity (pH) of solutions and it is used in controlling pH of pharmaceutical products, foods and water.

For Oil Production:

Hydrochloric acid is used in the production of oil production. Generally, HCl acid is injected into a rock where due to reaction the rock forms large-pore structures. Now this significantly assists in oil production.

These are some of the popular uses of Hydrochloric acid. To know more about properties, structure of acids and bases you can keep visiting BYJU’s or download our app for interesting content and learning experience.

Practise This Question

State true or false:
Water cycle can be pictorially represented as following: