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Chemicals and Solvents

Chemicals and Solvents

Top 5 Uses of Phosphoric Acid

What is Phosphoric Acid

You will most commonly find phosphoric acid in a dense liquid form. Many also popularly refer to this dense substance as orthophosphoric acid and it is more triprotic in nature. We primarily recognize this substance as phosphorous’ most essential oxygen acid.

It is important to note that even in liquid form, phosphoric acid is highly corrosive and irritant for mucous membranes, eyes and skin of lab animals and humans too.

Phosphoric acid also contains salts and their potential for irritancy is comparatively lower. This dense acidic substance does not consist of carcinogenic or genotoxic substances but they do hold a reputation for promoting carcinogenic activities.

Since quite some time now, phosphoric acid has been an element of interest and the world now widely recognizes this substance as a food additive. It has been the subject of various controversies in relation to its potentially harmful effects and is also a common ingredient in cola drinks.

Chemical Properties of Phosphoric Acid

You will either find phosphoric acid in a solid state of transparent crystalline or in a colorless and clear liquid state. Here is a breakdown of the substance’s chemical properties:

  • Linear formula: H3PO4
  • CAS Number: 7664-38-2
  • Molecular Weight: 97.994 g/mol
  • Appearance: Clear colorless liquid or transparent crystalline solid
  • Odor: Odorless
  • Density: 1.6845 g⋅cm−3 (25 °C, 85%), 1.834 g⋅cm−3 (solid)
  • Melting point: 40–42.4 °C (104.0–108.3 °F; 313.1–315.5 K)
  • Boiling point: 316.4°F
  • Solubility in water: Miscible

Let’s take a look at the top uses of phosphoric acid below:

Top 5 Uses of Phosphoric Acid:

  1. Rust Removal - Phosphoric acid is one of most common substances we turn to, among the other acids, for removing rust from steel, iron and other metals. There is somewhat a magical reaction phosphorous acid creates when it contacts with the rust covered, brownish-reddish metal.

Typically, the rust covering on metal is iron oxide that converts into ferric phosphate, a black-colored compound under the administration of phosphorous acid. Once you get this black compound, you can simply wipe it off and the metal look new again.

  1. Multi-purpose Chemical

Phosphorous acid also serves as a multi-purpose chemical in several agricultural uses, industrial uses and even many daily—use products. For example, a wide variety of our personal care products, such as bath, cleansing, hair care, perfumed, makeup, skincare and nail products contain phosphorous acid. A main function of this acid is to control the pH levels.

  1. Food Additive

Like we mentioned, the world now popularly recognizes phosphoric acid as a food additive. You will find it in a host of food products, including cheese, processes meats, cereal bars, jams, cola drinks and lots more.

It works like an acidity regulator in the products and as an acidulant in beverages. Additionally, the main goal of using this substance is to prevent food items and drinks from bacterial formation and fungi.

  1. Pharmaceutical Uses

The pharmaceutical industry uses phosphoric acid as an intermediate substance. You will find it most commonly in dentistry procedures, such as in etching solutions that clean the teeth. Apart from this, many anti-nausea medicines, mouth wash products and teeth whiteners also commonly include phosphorous acids.

  1. Agricultural Uses

You can find several reports that conclude nearly eight percent of the fertilizers that the agricultural industry commonly uses contain phosphoric acid. Besides this, phosphoric acid is not only a popular ingredient in many of our favorite sodas but also is a flavoring and additive agents in foods for poultry and animals.

Perhaps the pleasing acidic tastes that humans love is equally satisfying for the animals too who consume food items containing phosphorous acid.

    Cautions when using Phosphoric Acid

    When using phosphoric acid, here are the recommended precautions to take:

    • For skin protection against phosphoric acid, we recommend wearing chemical protective clothing, such as boots, aprons and gloves. We also recommend buying your skin protective gear in natural rubber, polyvinyl chloride, nitrile rubber, butyl rubber or neoprene rubber.
    • For face or eye protection against the irritant and corrosive substance, we recommend using safety goggles for chemical protection. A face shield might also be extremely useful.
    • Along with general exhaust ventilation, we also recommend using a local exhaust ventilation to protect against respiratory risks of working with phosphoric acids. It is essential to take every environmental precaution necessary and exhausting the fumes directly outside may be necessary.

    Where can you Purchase?

    Lab Pro offers a large variety of phosphoric acid productsFor over 40 years, Lab Pro Inc. has been committed to delivering the highest quality chemicals, distance learning kits, lab supplies, and cleanroom PPE apparel to medical device companies and laboratories worldwide. To learn more, visit the biggest Lab Supply showroom in California, or contact us online or at 888-452-2776.