How Are Acids Used in Industry?

By Staff WriterLast Updated Mar 29, 2020 3:04:36 AM ET

Acids are widely used in the manufacture of various substances such as solvents, chemicals, foods, fertilizers, medicines and plastics. The concentration of an acid usually determines where it can be used.


Sulfuric acid is one of the most used acids in industry. It is used to refine metals, and it has a role in the manufacture of fertilizers. Sulfuric acid is also used to refine petroleum and pickle several metals. Hydrochloric acid is used to clean oil wells and metals. It is also important in the manufacture of various foods and such substances as calcium chloride.

Nitric acid is used in the manufacture of the fertilizer ammonium nitrate. Phosphoric acid has plenty of uses in industry, such as in the manufacture of medicines, chemicals and food. It is also used in construction. Citric acid is mostly used in the manufacture of foods and beverages. It is also used as a preservative in the biochemistry industry.

Dilute acetic acid is another widely used acid in industrial processes, especially in the manufacture of chemical solutions. It is normally used as a chemical reagent in the manufacture of chemicals such as ester, acetic anhydride and acetate monomer. Other widely used acids in industry include formic acid, oxalic acid and acetic acid glacial.