Hydrochloric acid (HCL) : Preparation, Properties and Uses

Published on 08-May-2023


Hydrochloric acid (HCl) has been known since ancient times, and its production and use have been documented in various cultures throughout history. The ancient Romans, for example, used a mixture of hydrochloric acid and vinegar to clean their copper coins. In the 16th century, German alchemist Georg Bauer, also known as Agricola, described the preparation of hydrochloric acid by heating salt and vitriol (sulfuric acid). However, it wasn't until the 17th century that English chemist Joseph Priestley discovered that hydrochloric acid was a gas and that it could be dissolved in water to form an acid solution.

Hydrochloric acid (HCL)

Once hydrogen chloride gets dissolved in water, HCl is created. It is an unsophisticated diatomic molecule. The hydrogen and chlorine atom are joined with a single covalent bond. The bond between these two is polar, as the chlorine atom is more electronegative when contrasted with the hydrogen atom.

It is highly acidic. It is a colorless and viscous acid. It is corrosive and has a uniquely bitter smell. It is usually used as a laboratory reagent, and in industry, it produces leather and gelatin. The physical assets such as density, melting point, PH, and boiling point rely on the concentration of HCl.

Hydrochloric Acid Preparation

In the research laboratory and commercial scale, hydrogen chloride is made by warming sodium chloride with concentrated H2SO4. The gas can be made dry by passing through a sulfuric acid concentration.

NaCl + H2SO4 → NaHSO4 + HCl 

NaHSO4 + NaCl → Na2SO4 + HCl


Laboratory Pic

Hydrochloric Acid Properties

Hydrogen chloride is a very odorous and colorless gas. Gaseous hydrogen chloride replies to the chlorides formed by active metals and their oxides, hydroxides, and carbonates. These reactions only happen willingly in the presence of humidity. Hydrogen chloride is fully dry and is relatively unreactive.

Hydrochloric acid reactions are similar to those of common strong acids. For example, metal reactions in which hydrogen gas is relocated, reactions with sophisticated metal oxides and hydroxides that are neutralized with the formation of a metal chloride and water, and responses with weak acid salts where the heavy acid gets displaced.

Application of HCl(Hydrochloric Acid )

Hydrochloric acid (HCl) has a wide range of applications across many different industries due to its highly reactive and corrosive nature. Some common applications of HCl include:

Pickling of steel

HCl is commonly used in the metalworking industry to remove rust, scale, and other impurities from steel. This process is known as pickling and helps to prepare the surface of the steel for further processing.

Production of inorganic compounds

HCl is used in the production of many different inorganic compounds, such as chlorine, chlorides, and fertilizers. HCl is also used in the production of vinyl chloride and trichloroethylene, which are important industrial chemicals.

pH control and neutralization

HCl is a strong acid and is often used to adjust the pH of solutions in various industrial processes. It can also be used to neutralize basic solutions and reduce their pH to a more neutral level.

Regeneration of ion exchangers

HCl is used to regenerate ion exchange resins, which are used to remove impurities from water and other solutions. This process involves using HCl to remove the impurities from the resin, allowing it to be reused.

Laboratory use

 HCl is commonly used in laboratory experiments and is often used to prepare standard solutions and to adjust the pH of solutions.

Overall, HCl is a highly versatile and widely used chemical that plays an important role in many different industries and processes.


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