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Phosphoric acid, also known as orthophosphoric acid, is one of the most popular and widely used acids in the world. Phosphoric acid is a mineral acid with the formula H3PO4 which contains one phosphorus atom, four oxygen atoms, and three hydrogen atoms. This compound is one of the most important and useful chemicals known to humans. The crude form of this acid is extracted from phosphate rocks while the purer form is white phosphorus industrially.
Physical and Chemical Properties:
This substance exists in both liquid and solid forms, the liquid type of which has a purity of 85%, but the solid type is completely pure and powdery.
Pure phosphoric acid is a white crystalline solid. When less concentrated, it is a viscous, odorless liquid, which is non-toxic and non-volatile.
|Molar mass (g/mol)||97.995|
|Appearance||Liquid or solid|
|Density (g/cm3)||1.6850 (85% solution),
|Melting Point (°C)||42.4 (108 °F)|
|Boiling point (°C)||407 (414 °F)|
|Solubility in water||Soluble in water|
|Solubility||Soluble in ethanol, alcohol|
|Vapor Pressure (mm Hg)||0.03|
|form||sparkling liquid or transparent, crystalline solid|
|Chemical Structure Depiction|
Types of Phosphoric Acid:
Phosphoric acid has two types, edible and industrial. The edible type is more expensive; Because it has more purity and is healthy for oral consumption. The purity of the food grade is 85% and the purity of the industrial type is 54%, which is used in industry.
Phosphoric acid Production Process:
Phosphate rocks are generally available in the form of hydroxides and fluorides. Apatite is also the most important phosphate rock that is used to produce industrial and edible phosphoric acid. There are many impurities in this rock that can reduce the efficiency of phosphoric acid. These impurities also cause more corrosion of the material by this acid.
Wet process: The dry phosphate rock is broken down and reacted in the reactor with sulfuric acid. Calcium in phosphate rocks produces phosphoric acid and calcium phosphate, which are called gypsum. Finally, the gypsum is separated from the reaction solution using filtration.
This method is mostly used to produce phosphoric acid required for fertilizer. In this method, the produced acid has a relatively low purity, which increases its purity by evaporating the existing water vapor.
Thermal process: In this method, the element phosphorus is burned and the product is dissolved in water. The final product is phosphoric acid. This method has a higher purity and the application of this method to produce phosphoric acid is needed for the pharmaceutical, health, food, and beverage industries.
Applications and Uses of Phosphoric Acid:
The most important usage of this useful Acid is in agriculture for the production of chemical fertilizers is because it contains phosphorus, which is needed to produce phosphate fertilizers, and soils enriched with phosphate fertilizers are very useful for the growth of various plants.
It is used in many foods such as ready meals, the most important of which are cola drinks. Interestingly, not only is it not harmful to the body, but it is also beneficial because it contains phosphorus and increases metabolism.
This acid has hydrogen ions and is therefore used as a catalyst in the production of aspirin tablets because it is less polluting than sulfuric acid and rick chloride acid and is also useful in the treatment of kidney stones.
Iron and steel rust after a while, so it uses this acid to eliminate it, as well as to prevent iron rust.
In addition to all the above applications, it can also be mentioned that high purity phosphoric acid is used as a factor in creating electronic circuits in a wide range of electronic devices such as computer screens, smartphones, and LCD TVs.
Phosphoric Acid in the Food Industry:
One of the important uses of phosphoric acid is to use inedible foods to create flavor in food. Considering that phosphoric acid can be mass-produced and very reasonably priced industrially; It makes sense to replace it with natural edible condiments such as citric acid with the ability to create a sour taste or ginger with a spicy taste in foods. As a result, it can be said that phosphoric acid is one of the main ingredients in a variety of carbonated beverages and acidic foods.
In dairy products, this acid is used to regulate the pH of the environment and control the amount of protein. Also, adding phosphates derived from oral phosphoric acid to dairy products produces higher quality products and longer shelf life.
This compound is a corrosive substance and in contact with the skin and eyes can cause damage and burns, but it is not flammable. Robes, gloves, and goggles should be worn when using them. Also, avoid storing it with oxidants and bases.
Packing and Storage:
Store in a dry, cool area, well-ventilated place. Keep away from combustible materials. Diking of storage tanks is recommended.