Difference Between Muriatic Acid and Hydrochloric Acid

Muriatic Acid vs Hydrochloric Acid
 

Since both muriatic acid and hydrochloric acid have the same chemical formula (HCl) many people think both of these acids are similar, but there is a difference between them. Though both acids contain HCl, when we consider the purity of two acids, hydrochloric acid is the pure form and muriatic acid contains impurities. It is a version of hydrochloric acid with lower purity. In past days, muriatic acid was another name for hydrochloric acid.

What is Hydrochloric Acid?

Hydrochloric acid (HCl) is a toxic and corrosive liquid, which is widely used as a chemical. Its reactivity is very high. Hydrochloric acid reacts rapidly with metals that are commonly used in industrial applications. It is corrosive to the skin and mucous membranes, causing severe burns if it touches any part of the body. Therefore, hydrochloric acid must be carefully handled and stored, with this hazard in mind. The hydrochloric acid reacts rapidly with water, results in boiling or splattering. Therefore, when diluting hydrochloric acid, water should be added to the acid carefully, but not the other way (adding acid to water).

HCl is used in producing plastics (PVC), chemicals, and medicines. Hydrochloric acid is also used in the food industry. It is a very important chemical in laboratories.

Muriatic Acid vs Hydrochloric Acid

What is Muriatic Acid?

The chemical formula for muriatic acid is also HCl. Hydrochloric acid can be produced in random purities depending on the purpose they are used for. When it is produced as a chemical reagent, it is very pure and called is called hydrochloric acid. Muriatic acid is produced by distilling acid and salt. The purity of muriatic acid is less compared to original hydrochloric acid.

Same as the other acids, muriatic acid has so many industrial usages. It is mostly used as a cleaning agent for swimming pools and to clean tiles, metals and bricks. In industrial scale, it is used to produce papers, plastics and detergents. It can be used to adjust pH levels or to neutralize the alkalinity in paints or sealers.

Difference Between Muriatic Acid and Hydrochloric Acid

What is the difference between Muriatic Acid and Hydrochloric Acid?

• Colour:

• Hydrochloric acid is very clear and “water white” in colour.

• Muriatic acid is yellow in colour due to the presence of impurities such as traces of iron.

• Composition:

• Hydrochloric acid contains only HCl and it is very pure.

• Muriatic acid largely contains HCl, but some other impurities are also there. For example, a little amount of H2SOand traces of iron can also be present in muriatic acid.

• Purity:

• Hydrochloric acid is the technical grade of the HCL product with no impurities.

• Muriatic acid is a less pure or industrial grade version of hydrochloric acid.

• Baume Rating:

• Hydrochloric acid has a high Baume rating (the extent of impurities).

• Muriatic acid has a lower Baume rating.

• Usage:

• Hydrochloric acid is mostly used in chemical laboratories for analytical purposes.

• Muriatic acid is used for industrial grade applications such as cleaning.

 

Images Courtesy:

  1. Muriatic acid by Morgan Davis (CC BY 2.0)
  2. Hydrochloric acid via Wikicommons (Public Domain)
  • DannyDan

    “The hydrochloric acid reacts rapidly with water, results in boiling or
    splattering. Therefore, when diluting hydrochloric acid, water should be
    added to the acid
    carefully, but not the other way (adding acid to
    water).”

    Always Add Acid. Do not add water to acid.