In the United States, hydrochloric acid is produced via four main processes: the synthesis of chlorine and hydrogen, the chlorination of organic substances, the salt-sulfuric acid production method and the manufacture of silica that yields hydrochloric acid as a co-product. The formation of hydrochloric acid, with the chemical formula HCl, occurs when hydrogen chloride gas is dissolved in water.
HCl, commonly known by its industrial name as muriatic acid, is categorized as a strong acid. In the U.S., the production of HCl is primarily derived from the addition of chlorine to organic compounds. Some of the various applications of HCl include pickling steel, acidizing oil wells, refining ores and processing food.