About Sulfuric Acid
Sulfuric acid is an oily, colorless liquid with no odor. It is a key component in batteries, wastewater treatment, ore production, and fertilizer creation. Sixty-five percent of all fertilizers available on the market today are created from a combination of sulfuric acid and other chemicals. It is created from inorganic materials through a process that utilizes a special type of chemical reaction. More than 40 million tons of sulfuric acid are produced annually in the United States alone.
Sulfuric acid was discovered in the 8th century by an alchemist named Jabir Ibn Hayyan. When sulfur compounds are burned, sulfur dioxide gas is left behind. When sulfur dioxide gas is heated to 450 degrees, the combination turns into sulfur trioxide. Jabir Ibn Hayyan mixed sulfur trioxide with water to create sulfuric acid. A century later, Ibn Zakariya al-Razi, a Persian physician and alchemist, continued studying the acid and discovered it had the ability to destroy iron and copper oxide.
A variety of substances can be mixed with sulfuric acid in order to create new products. Sulfur can be mixed with forms of aluminum to create aluminum sulfates. When aluminum sulfates are mixed with wood pulp, the fibers bond together and create paper. Aluminum sulfates mixed with dioxides create a mixture that takes impurities out of water. These aluminum dioxides are commonly used at water treatment plants.