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Uses of Phosphoric Acid

What is Phosphoric Acid?

Phosphoric acid also referred to as phosphoric(V) acid or orthophosphoric acid is one of the popular and most used acids. The chemical formula of phosphoric(V) acid is H3PO4.

As such, the raw form of this acid is extracted from phosphate rocks, whereas a more pure form is produced industrially from white phosphorus. Pure phosphoric acid is usually found in a crystalline solid-state and in a less concentrated form. Generally, it is a colourless, syrupy, odourless, and non-volatile liquid.

Table of Contents

Phosphoric acid which is also a mineral acid is represented by the formula H3PO4 and it contains one atom of phosphorus, four atoms of oxygen and three atoms of hydrogen.

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Different Uses of Phosphoric Acid

Orthophosphoric acid is one of the important chemicals which has a myriad of uses in several industries, agriculture, and products that we use in our daily lives. In any case, here we will look at some popular uses of phosphoric acid.

  • Removal of Rust
  • In Food and Beverage
  • Personal care
  • Used In Agriculture
  • Pharma
  • Other Uses

Phosphoric acid used in the removal of rust

Among the various types of acids, phosphoric acid is used commonly in the removal of rust from metals like iron, steel, etc. Usually, when this acid is applied reacts with the rust and converts the reddish-brown iron typically ferric oxide (iron oxide) to a black-coloured compound which is known as ferric phosphate. This black ferric phosphate substance is easily removed.

Use of Phosphoric Acid in Food And Beverage

1. Phosphoric acid is often used as a food additive.
2. Phosphoric acid acts as an acidity regulator in foods like jams, cereal bars, processed meats, cheese, etc.
3. In the beverage industry, phosphoric acid is used as an acidulant. It helps keep a check on fungi and bacteria formation.

Use of Phosphoric Acid in Personal Care

Phosphoric Acid is quite necessary for the production of a wide variety of personal care products. Some of them include cleansing products, bath products, fragrances, hair care products and dyes, nail products, makeup, and other skincare products. On the other hand, phosphoric acid is also used in controlling the pH level of these products.

Use of Phosphoric Acid in Agriculture

Some reports have suggested that almost 80 percent of the phosphoric acid that is produced is used in the production of fertiliser. Phosphoric acid is also used as an additive and flavouring agent in animal or poultry feed.

Use of Phosphoric Acid in Pharmaceutical Industry

This acid is mostly used as an intermediate in pharmaceuticals. One of the main areas where phosphoric acid is used is in dentistry. It is used as an etching solution and is usually used to clean the teeth. Other uses of phosphoric acid include teeth whiteners or mouth washing liquids. Phosphoric acid is also commonly used in anti-nausea medicines.

Other Uses of Phosphoric Acid

There are also a few other uses of this acid. Phosphoric acid is used as an electrolyte in fuel cells or in oxyhydrogen generators. Phosphoric acid is also used to make synthetic detergents and treatment of water and metals.

It is also used to remove mineral deposits, cement smears, and hard water stains in the construction industry. It can act as a chemical oxidising agent to produce activated carbon products.

These are some popular uses of petroleum. To know more about petroleum or fossil fuels you can keep visiting BYJU’S or download our app for interesting content and learning experience.

Frequently Asked Questions – FAQs

What is the other name of phosphoric acid?

Orthophosphoric acid.

Write the chemical formula for phosphoric acid?

The chemical formula for phosphoric acid is H3PO4.

What is the molecular mass, boiling point and melting point of phosphoric acid?

Molecular mass = 97.994 g/mol, boiling point = 158 °C and melting point = 42.35 °C.

Is Orthophosphoric acid a strong acid or weak acid? Why?

It is a weak acid as it does not fully dissociate in water.

List two wide applications of phosphoric acid.

Phosphoric acid is widely used in fertilisers and in the acidification of food.

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1 Comment

  1. Thank you for a very good explanation of phosphoric acid’s uses

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