Muriatic acid has the same chemical formula as hydrochloric acid; HCl. But it differs from hydrochloric acid due to its yellow color. This yellow color arises due to the presence of impurities. On the other hand, sulfuric acid is one of the most important acids produced in the chemical industry because it is useful in the production of many other chemical compounds.
What is Muriatic Acid?
Muriatic acid is a hydrochloric acid with impurities. Therefore, it has the same chemical formula as hydrochloric acid, which is HCl. Due to the presence of impurities, this compound has a yellow color. This yellow color arises because there are traces of iron.
Muriatic acid production involves the distillation of hydrochloric acid and a salt (containing chloride ions). The impurities in this acid come from this distillation process. However, these impurities do not affect the properties of this acid. According to the Baume rating, this acid has a lower rating value when compared to hydrochloric acid. The Baume rating scale is a scale used in measuring the density of a liquid.
Muriatic acid as a cleaning agent has many uses; to adjust the pH of the swimming pool water, to clean the metal surfaces (as the acid strength of this compound is low, it is not enough to melt the metal surface), etc.
What is Sulfuric Acid?
Sulfuric acid is a sulfur-containing mineral acid. The chemical formula of this compound is H2SO4. At room temperature, it is a colorless and odorless liquid which is syrupy. It dissolves in water giving off heat energy (exothermic reaction). The molar mass of this compound is 98.07 g/mol.
The melting point of this acid is 10◦C while the boiling point is 337◦C. However, at temperatures above 300◦C, sulfuric acid slowly decomposes. This acid is a strong acid. Therefore, it is highly corrosive towards metals and tissues. Even in moderate concentrations, it can damage our skin. In addition, this compound is hygroscopic. Hence, it readily absorbs water vapour from the atmosphere.
The applications of sulfuric acid include followings:
- For fertilizer manufacture
- In oil refining
- Wastewater processing
- Synthesis of different chemical compounds
What is the Difference Between Muriatic and Sulfuric Acid?
Muriatic Acid vs Sulfric Acid
|A hydrochloric acid with impurities.||A sulfur containing mineral acid.|
|A yellow color liquid||A colorless liquid|
|Used as a cleaning agent||Has many applications including;
Summary – Muriatic vs Sulfuric Acid
Acids are compounds capable of releasing protons. Some acids are strong while others are weak acids. However, most acidic compounds are corrosive in their concentrated state. Muriatic and sulfuric acid are such two acid compounds. The difference between muriatic and sulfuric acid is that muriatic acid is a chlorine containing compound whereas sulfuric acid is a sulfur containing compound.
1. “Sulfuric Acid.” National Center for Biotechnology Information. PubChem Compound Database, U.S. National Library of Medicine. Available here
2. Helmenstine, Anne Marie, Ph.D. “What Is Muriatic Acid?” ThoughtCo, May. 8, 2018. Available here