Hydrochloric acid is a common chemical substance that everyone must have heard of at least once somewhere. This is an aqueous solution of hydrogen chloride and a strong mineral acid with a plenty of industrial uses. The chemical formula for the substance is HCl with the molecular weight around 36.47 g/mol. This is diatomic molecule with a polarized covalent bond between hydrogen and the chlorine atom.
HCl is the main constituent of natural gastric acids in our stomach. When hydrogen and chlorine are mixed together with water then HCl is formed. It can be prepared by by-product industrial-scale production to other chemicals. It can also be prepared by combustion of hydrogen in chlorine. This is not possible to prepare high concentrated solution because of evaporation.
The acid is colorless and a clear solution with pungent smell. It is available in different concentrations in water and its physical properties like boiling point, density or the melting point vary accordingly. The industrial grade of the acid is between 30 – 35 percent, commercial grade is between 20 to 30 percent, and the household cleaning grade is between 10 to 15 percent and still diluted further before use.
This is a quite strong acid and dissolves completely in water to form the hydrogen or chloride ions. With the help of concentrated HCl, you can form a variety of metal chlorides and the hydrogen gas. The diluted HCl breaks down and form different biological samples. The acid has a plenty of industrial uses like PVC, plastics, fertilizers, dyes, photography, rubber industries, textile etc. At the same time, it should always be used with care otherwise it may result in health hazards too.