Why Is Sulfuric Acid So Functional?

Sulfuric acid is involved, in some way or the other, in the manufacture of practically everything, such as petrol, fertilizers, cars and soaps. They, like a lot of other things, require sulfuric acid to be made. That’s why sulfuric acid is called the king of chemicals.

On earth, sulfuric acid does not exist in a natural form. But on the planet Venus, there’s plenty of it. There are lakes of the acid, which evaporate to form clouds, which then rain sulfuric acid upon the Venerean surface. Indeed, the production of sulfuric acid is sometimes used as a measure of how industrially advanced a country is. India produces about 48 lakh tonnes of this acid a year.

Sulfuric acid is often stored in concentrated form. When diluting it, never pour water into the acid. That will make the whole thing explode. Instead keep crushed ice (made from pure water) in a large beaker, and pour the acid onto it, drop by drop. The ice absorbs the heat of the reaction, so it won’t explode. When the ice melts, you get dilute sulfuric acid.

Large amounts of sulfuric acid is used to clean up rust from steel rolls. These cleaned up rolls are used to make cars, trucks, as well as household appliances. It is used to make aluminium sulfate, which is needed for making paper. It is used to make ammonium sulfate, a common fertilizer. Sulfuric acid is used in petroleum refining to make high-octane petrol, which burns efficiently. It is put in the lead-acid batteries of your car battery … well, it is used to make practically everything!

60% of all sulfuric acid produced is mixed with crushed phosphate rock to make phosphoric acid. Phosphoric acid has two uses – to make phosphate fertilizers, and to make sodium triphosphate, which is a detergent.

Never handle sulfuric acid yourself. If you spill a drop on your hand, it will react with the tissue, burning it instantly. It also causes dehydration. Fumes of sulfuric acid can cause blindness, and damage the lungs if inhaled. In case you accidentally spill acid on yourself, wash it under a tap for fifteen minutes at least, so that even the tiniest drop is washed away.

Never pour it from the bottle, but always use a thick glass pipette with a rubber bulb. The best is to let your teacher handle it, while you stand aside and watch. Even dilute sulfuric acid is dangerous. When handling sulfuric acid, always wear thick gloves and a lab coat or apron. Never handle it on an open bench, but use it in a fume hood. 

Common Side Effects Of Soft Drinks

Many health experts would agree that soft drinks have become a marketable drug to today’s youth. According to James Duke, Ph.D., soft drinks are full of phosphorus, which is a bone dissolving agent. Many other chemicals are found in soft drinks, leading many parents to wonder if their children should be drinking soda. Of particular concern is the effects of soft drinks on the stomach and teeth.

Malnutrition and Fattiness
We all know that soft drinks have a great deal of refined sugar, which adds up to empty calories. Soft drinks lack substantial nutritional value, which leaves us feeling hungry. Excess calories that we do not burn off turn to fat, causing us to put on weight. The extra fat can lead to digestive problems in the stomach. Even diet soft drinks can be harmful–they often contain the chemical aspartame as a low calorie sugar replacement. Studies have shown that the chemical aspartame found in diet soft drinks can actually make us feel hungrier. Extreme cases have shown that some people addicted to soft drinks have experienced severe gastrointestinal problems resulting in a loss of appetite. This can result in malnutrition, which can lead to a swollen abdomen and diarrhea.

Caffeine Effects On The Stomach
A major complication with increased caffeine intake is the effect on gastrointestinal digestion. Caffeine asks as a diuretic, and can cause problems with normal digestive functions. Due to caffeine being a diuretic, it actually draws water out of the intestine and stomach. This removal of water can cause dehydration and aids in the deterioration of the stomach lining. If you find that you are having digestive problems, it is best to avoid soft drinks since they often contain high amounts of caffeine.

Dissolve Tooth Enamel
A study published in the journal General Dentistry in 2004 concludes that soft drinks “aggressively” harm teeth, although a spokesperson for the soft drink industry says that the study is “not realistic.” The study featured slices of enamel from freshly pulled teeth that were placed in different types of soft drinks and weighed and measured before and after exposure. Damage to tooth enamel begins within a few minutes of exposure, but it is cumulative exposure that leads to the most damage. In other words, people who drink soft drinks frequently are most at risk.

The acids that dissolve tooth enamel that are present in soft drinks are citric acid and phosphoric acid(H3PO4, CAS:7664-38-2). They are also found in sport and energy drinks, which harm teeth in the same way. Damage to tooth enamel happens very quickly. For example, fruit juice also has a relatively high acid content, but cola soft drinks caused ten times more damage to tooth enamel within the first three minutes of exposure.

Other non-cola soft drinks and canned iced tea seem to be even worse. However, other acidic drinks, such as brewed tea, coffee, and root beer are not damaging. Beyond forgoing soft drinks, some experts urge drinking soft drinks through a straw in order to limit the exposure of your teeth to the acid.

Phosphoric Acid and Soad Pop

People almostly all drink soad pop, many of them are very fond of this soft drink. However, do you know what ingredients it contains? In diet or sugar-free soda pop the main ingredient is carbonated water, followed by a list that includes caffeine, acids, preservatives, artificial flavors, coloring and foaming agents. Although these ingredients are approved by the Food and Drug Administration, not all of them are safe.

Next, this article will describe phosphoric acid in detail.

Phosphoric acid is deliberately added to soft drinks to give them a sharper flavor. It also slows the growth of molds and bacteria, which would otherwise multiply rapidly in the sugary solution. Almost all of the acidity of soda pop comes from the phosphoric acid and not from the carbonic acid from the dissolved CO2. You can verify this by measuring the pH of fresh and flat soda pop; there’s very little difference.

The phosphoric acid is corrosive, but actually the acid concentration in soda pop is lower than that in orange juice or lemonade. Fruit juices and drinks are also tart, but they don’t use phosphoric acid as a flavor additive. Phosphoric acid would cause many ions present in fruit juices to settle out as insoluble phosphates. These beverages get their tang from citric acid, a substance found in oranges, limes, lemons and grapefruits. Malic acid, found in apples and cherries, is added to many fruit juices. Fumaric acid is used in noncarbonated soft drinks, and tartaric acid gives grape-flavored candies a subtle sour flavor. All of these substances impart only tartness, without overpowering other flavors present.

In fact, your body actually needs phosphate. Molecules like DNA, RNA and ATP all contain phosphate groups, although the FDA( Food and Drug Administration) notes that Americans typically obtain more than sufficient amounts of phosphorus from their diet. When used at the concentrations found in soft drinks and foods, there is no reason to think that phosphoric acid would be dangerous to your health.

One important consideration, however, is the health of your teeth. Your teeth are made from calcium hydroxyapatite, which is more soluble at acidic pH. Bacteria in your mouth ferment sugars and release acids that can decrease the pH and contribute to tooth decay. Sugared sodas not only provide sugar that feeds these bacteria, but they are also acidic. However, orange juice and lemonade are actually more acidic than soda pop.