A powerful acid with an acidity higher than pure sulfuric acid is known as a superacid. Because the pH scale only applies to dilute aqueous solutions, chemists utilise the Hammett acidity function (H0) or other specific acidity functions to define superacid strength.
Fluoroantimonic acid is the strongest super-acid known in existence which is 100,000 billion billion billion times more acid than gastric acid (pH of -31.3.). This substance is so strong it will eat through skin, bones, and pretty much any container used to store it. Unfortunately, people have died from having as little exposure to Hydrofluoric acid, which is relatively not as potent as a burn covering only 2.5% of their skin.
- Fluoroantimonic acid is used in chemical engineering and organic chemistry to protonate organic compounds, regardless of their solvent.
- It is used as a catalyst for alkylations and acylation in petrochemistry.
The carborane acids are solo acids, whereas fluoroantimonic acid is made up of a mixture of acids. The H0 of carborane acids is at least -18, however, due to the nature of the acid molecule, calculating its strength is challenging. Carborane acids have the potential to be even more powerful than fluoroantimonic acid. They are the only acids capable of protonating C60 and Carbon dioxide.