How to get sulfuric acid?

Svetlana Noskova
Svetlana Noskova
February 5, 2013
How to get sulfuric acid?

Sulfuric acid is a substance that belongs to strong dibasic acids. Chemical formula of sulfuric acid - H2SO4. Pure sulfuric acid is a colorless oily liquid. Density is 1.84 g / cm3. Melting point is -10.4 degrees Celsius. The chemical properties of this substance have contributed to the fact that it has become widespread in industry.

Remember the equation of sulfuric acid

The equations of sulfuric acid, describing its production, are based on the absorption of sulfur oxide (VI) by water. Sulfur Oxide (VI) SO3- the highest sulfur oxide with high chemical activity. The interaction of this substance with water leads to the appearance of sulfuric acid. This process is accompanied by the release of a large amount of heat.

Sulfuric acid can be obtained, for example, from a pyrite mineral. This is one of the industrial methods for obtaining this substance. It is described by the following equations:

  • 4FeS2+ 11O2= 2Fe2O3+ 8SO2
  • 2SO2+ O2= 2SO3
  • SO3+ H2O = h2SO4

In this method, as a catalyst and in the oxidation of SO2to SO3,Vanadium (V) oxide is used. In addition, the substances catalyzing this reaction are iron oxide and platinum. However, in industry they are not used for reasons of rationality. So, platinum is too expensive metal. And iron oxide for the manifestation of catalytic properties must be heated to a temperature of 625 degrees Celsius. Its use would require additional complexity of the process.

Technical sulfuric acid is a mixture of sulfuric acid and water itself. The mechanism of oxidation of metals with sulfuric acid depends on its concentration. So, if the acid is highly diluted, then it oxidizes with a hydrogen ion. An example of such a reaction is shown below:

  • Zn + H2SO4= ZnSO4+ H2

In this case, only those metals whose activity exceeds the activity of hydrogen are oxidized. If the concentration of acid is high, the oxidation takes place at the expense of sulfur. Such an acid reacts with silver, as well as with metals that are in the series of stresses below this element. The final products depend on the activity of the metal and the reaction conditions.So, if the metal is inactive, the acid is reduced to sulfur oxide (IV):

  • Cu + 2H2SO4= CuSO4+ SO2+ 2H2O

More active metals can release either sulfur or hydrogen sulfide:

  • 3Zn + 4H2SO4= 3ZnSO4+ S + 4H2O
  • 4Zn + 5H2SO4= 4ZnSO4+ H2S + 4H2O

If you are interested in how to get sulfuric acid, the easiest way to do this is in the store. Since the production of it in the conditions of the home laboratory can not count on getting the party, the volume of which is suitable for practical use.

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