Phosphoric Acid


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Alternative names: ortho-Phosphoric acid, phosphoric syrup, trihydroxlphosphine oxide, white phosphoric acid

Physical state: an inorganic acid that is clear, colourless to light yellow syrupy liquid and is odorless.

Phosphoric Acid is available in 85% liquid solution but can also be a transparent crystalline solid. It is a mineral acid.

It is the second-most produced and consumed inorganic acid, after sulfuric acid.

Phosphoric acid is used  in industries, agriculture, and even in many homes. It is a chemical reagent that has a wide variety of uses from rust removal/ rust dissolver to Food additives to fertilizers.

About 90% of the phosphoric acid produced is used to make fertilizers.  It is mainly converted into three phosphate salts which are used as fertilizers.  They are triple superphosphate (TSP), diammonium hydrogenphosphate (DAP) and mono-ammonium dihydrogenphosphate (MAP).

Phosphoric acid is excellent for preserving foods over extended periods of time.Phosphates are also used in a variety of other ways, including in soft drinks and as a supplement in feed given to cattle, pigs and poultry.It is used as an additive to acidify foods and beverages, like the various colas. It provides a tangy or sour taste to fruity drinks.

One of its important uses is in the fields of medicine and dentistry. Phosphoric acid is used as an ingredient in over-the-counter anti-nausea medications, which also happen to contain high levels of sugar, that is, glucose and fructose. In dentistry, this acid is combined with zinc powder to form zinc phosphate, which is used as a temporary dental cement. It is also used in orthodontics as an etching solution, to clean and roughen the surface of teeth before the placement of brackets and other dental appliances. This acid is also used in many teeth whitening solutions to eliminate plaque that may be present on the surface of the teeth.

Phosphoric acid is also used as an electrolyte in copper electro-polishing for burr removal. In compound semiconductor processing, it is commonly used as a wet etching agent. It is also used as an electrolyte in phosphoric acid fuel cells and when combined with distilled water in oxyhydrogen generators.

Phosphoric acid is widely used as a rust remover. When the solution in liquid or gel form is placed directly on rusted areas of steel, steel tools or steel surfaces, the rust is converted from the red oxide to a black ferric phosphate. This is common when pickling steel. After the rust has been converted to black ferric phosphate it can easily be scrubbed off.Phosphoric acid is also used by hobby welders as a flux to aid in soldering.

Phosphoric acid is also used as a cleaning agent in the construction industry as its corrosive, non-toxic properties allow it to remove mineral deposits, cement smears and hard water stains. Phosphoric Acid removes water hardness, milkstone deposits and other oxide films safely when compared with alternative acids.It is also used as a chemical oxidizing agent for activated carbon productions.

Home household cleaners also use a safer and less strong chelant of phosphoric acid. Home detergents also make use of phosphoric acid as a dispersing agent.

Another common use is in pH balancing. It is used in nutrient solutions, in cosmetics and skincare products to create the correct pH for the plants or skin. It is also used to neutralize e the pH of water sources particularly aquariums.


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Phosphoric Acid