Phosphoric acid, also known as orthophosphoric acid is a weak mineral acid with the chemical formula of H3PO4. It contains three atoms of hydrogen, one atom of phosphorus and four atoms of oxygen.
Phosphoric acid is widely available as 85% aqueous solution which is colourless, odourless and non-volatile liquid. The pure form of phosphoric acid compound is usually in a crystalline solid-state.
Phosphoric acid is known as best rust remover on the market. It acts quickly on rust and is not overly aggressive on underlying metal. When the solution in liquid is placed directly on rusted areas of steel, steel tools or steel surfaces, the rust is converted from the red oxide to a black ferric phosphate. After the rust has been converted to black ferric phosphate it can easily be scrubbed off. The coating of iron phosphate serves as a short-term rust inhibitor.
Widely used to provide phosphate conversion coating in the anti rust treatment of steel aluminium, zinc, cadmium, silver and tin.
Foods & Beverages
Food-grade phosphoric acid is used in foods and beverages to acidify various colas and jams, providing a tangy or sour taste and stopping fungi and bacteria formation. It is also used as a food additive and acidity regulator in foods like jams, cereal bars, processed meats, cheese, etc. Soft drinks containing phosphoric acid, which would include Coca-Cola, are sometimes called phosphate sodas or phosphates.
Phosphoric acid is a key ingredient in the production of a wide variety of personal care products. Some of them include cleansing products, bath products, fragrances, hair care products and dyes, nail products, makeup, and other skin care products. It is also used to control the pH level of these products.
Phosphoric acid is used to remove mineral deposits, cement smears, and hard water stains in construction industry.
Phosphoric acid is mostly used as an intermediate in pharmaceutical. One of the main areas that phosphoric acid is used is in dentistry. It is uses as an etching solution and is usually used to clean the teeth. Other uses of phosphoric acid include teeth whiteners or mouth washing liquids. Phosphoric acid is also commonly used in anti nausea medicines.
In agriculture industry, Phosphoric acid is used as an additive and flavouring agent in animal or poultry feed. About 80% of produced phosphoric acid is used in the production of fertilizer.
Used as an electrolyte in fuel cells or in oxyhydrogen generators.
Phosphoric acid is also used to make synthetic detergents and treatment of water and metals.
It can act as a chemical oxidizing agent to produce activated carbon products.
Although it is not considered a strong acid, the 85% solution can burn eyes and skin and is harmful if inhaled.
Phosphoric acid in soft drinks has the potential to create dental erosion.
Phosphoric acid also has the potential to contribute to the formation of kidney stones, especially in those who have had kidney stones previously.