Hydrochloric acid, whose formula is HCL (aqueous), is a strong corrosive acid used mostly as a laboratory reagent. It is also an aqueous solution of water and hydrogen chloride, an acidic gas.
Hydrochloric acid is also known as hydrogen chloride, Acide chlorhydrique, Chlorohydric acid, 7647-01-0, aqueous hydrogen chloride, Chlorwasserstoff and Muriatic acid. It undergoes an exothermic reaction with both inorganic bases, which include metal oxides and hydroxides, and organic bases, which include amides and amines. It also reacts with hydrogen carbonates and carbonates to produce carbon dioxide. Its reaction with borides, carbides, sulfides and phospides produces flammable or toxic gases.
When mixed with sulfuric acid, hydrochloric acid forms toxic hydrogen chloride gas at a very dangerous rate. Hydrochloric acid is naturally found in both the stomach of many mammals as an aid to digestion and gases released from volcanoes. When mixed with water, hydrochloric acid dissociates to form hydronium and chloride ions thereby decreasing the pH of water.
When released into soil, this acid evaporates from the surfaces of dry soil while in moist soil, it dissociates into hydronium and chloride ions. Exposure to hydrochloric acid can occur through inhalation or dermal contact with products that contain these compounds. It is also widely used in metal picking, food processing, textile and rubber industries, ore refining and manufacture of dyes and fertilizers.