What Does Hydrochloric Acid Do?


Quick Answer

Hydrochloric acid does many different things, finding use in both the home and factories. Hydrochloric acid is an aqueous solution of hydrogen chloride. Muriatic is a common name for this highly corrosive mineral acid.

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What Does Hydrochloric Acid Do?
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Full Answer

Hydrochloric acid is a major ingredient in the production of polyvinylchloride. PVC is a plastic manufacturers use to create pipe, lawn furniture and many other products. Producers use hydrochloric acid in tanning leather and the manufacturing of food additives, including gelatin. This acid is a powerful solvent for the removal of scale from industrial equipment such as boilers and pipes. Table salt producers use hydrochloric acid in the refining of salt mined from nature to provide the pure white crystals users prefer to add to their food. Builders use muriatic acid in construction. Dilute forms of the acid are also beneficial in household cleaning, such as those for cleaning scale from toilets, showers and other fixtures. Hydrochloric acid is an important additive in industries attempting to maintain pH without introducing impurities, such as those found in sulfuric acid, to the finished product. Hydrochloric acid occurs naturally in the stomach of human beings and other mammals and is essential to the digestion process, removing nutrients necessary for health from the food one ingests.

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