Concentration determination of sulfuric acid and oleum using density and sound velocity

Sulfuric acid is amongst the world’s large volume chemicals and found in various industries as a central substance. The biggest industry in need for sulfuric acid is the fertilizer production. Other uses include the metal industry, the petroleum industry and the chemical industry. Anton Paar offers density and density and sound velocity meters for easy and precise concentration determination.

Sulfuric acid and oleum

Sulfuric acid (H2SO4) is amongst the world's large volume chemicals and plays an important role in various industries. Pure sulfuric acid is an oily, clear, odorless liquid, which is highly hygroscopic and can be diluted with water in any ratio.

Many grades of sulfuric acid are available and, depending on their concentration, they are used for different purposes. The biggest industry in need of sulfuric acid is the fertilizer production (approx. 50–60 % of the total sulfuric acid production volume) where sulfuric acid is needed to produce phosphoric acid, which can be converted into different fertilizer types. Other applications include the pickling process to remove impurities from metals or the recovery of metals as well as the production of polymers and synthetic fibers. Sulfuric acid also serves as electrolyte in lead-acid batteries and its concentration plays an important role in the charging and recharging as well as in the recovery from crushed batteries.

Oleum, often referred to as fuming sulfuric acid, consists of SO3 (sulfur trioxide) dissolved in H2SO4 (sulfuric acid). Typically, oleum is produced as part of the commercial process of manufacturing sulfuric acid. It is, e.g., used in the setting up of highly concentrated sulfuric acid and in the polymer industry.

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