Hydrochloric Acid 37% ACS Reagent Grade (HCL)


Hydrochloric Acid 37% ACS Reagent Grade

HCL pH: 1.1

Hydrochloric acid, solution is a colorless watery liquid with a sharp, irritating odor. Consists of hydrogen chloride, a gas, dissolved in water. Sinks and mixes with water.  HCL vapors are heavier than air.  It is classified as a Strong Acid and is used in many types of laboratory preparations.  


Chemical Formula: HCl
Molecular Weight: 36.46
CAS Registry Number:  
Appearance Colorless, transparent liquid, fumes in air if concentrated
Odor: Pungent characteristic
Density 0.81 g/cm3
Boiling Point: 61C @ 36% Concentration
GHS Pictograms: GHS07: Exclamation markGHS05: Corrosive
GHS Signal Word: Danger
GHS Hazard Statements: H290, H314, H335
GHS Precautionary Statements P210, P233, P240, P305+P351+P338, P403+P23 P260, P280, P303+P361+P353, P305+P351+P338

UN Identification Number:


Proper Shipping Name:

Hydrochloric acid solution
Transport Hazard Class: 8
Packing Group: II
DOT Placard: Corrosive liquids (8)


 What Is Hydrochloric Acid?

Hydrochloric acid (HCl) is a strong, highly corrosive acid that is widely used in various industrial, commercial, and laboratory applications. It is a solution of hydrogen chloride gas dissolved in water, forming a clear, colorless liquid with a sharp, pungent odor.

Chemically, hydrochloric acid is composed of hydrogen (H) and chlorine (Cl) atoms, with a chemical formula of HCl. In aqueous solution, hydrochloric acid dissociates into hydrogen ions (H⁺) and chloride ions (Cl⁻), making it a strong acid.

How Is Hydrochloric Acid Produced?

Hydrochloric acid (HCl) is typically produced on an industrial scale through the chemical reaction between hydrogen gas (H2) and chlorine gas (Cl2). This reaction is exothermic and requires the presence of a suitable catalyst to proceed efficiently. The primary method for producing hydrochloric acid involves the following steps:

  1. Preparation of Hydrogen: Hydrogen gas (H2) is produced through various methods, such as steam reforming of natural gas (methane), electrolysis of water, or as a byproduct of certain chemical processes. Steam reforming is the most common method for large-scale hydrogen production, where methane is reacted with steam in the presence of a nickel-based catalyst to produce hydrogen gas and carbon monoxide:

    CH4 + H2O → CO + 3H2

    The produced hydrogen gas is then purified to remove impurities before use in the hydrochloric acid production process.

  2. Preparation of Chlorine: Chlorine gas (Cl2) is typically produced by the electrolysis of sodium chloride (table salt) solution, known as the chlor-alkali process. In this process, an electric current is passed through a brine solution (sodium chloride dissolved in water), resulting in the decomposition of water and the formation of chlorine gas at the anode:

    2Cl⁻ → Cl2 + 2e⁻

    The chlorine gas is then purified and dried to remove any water vapor before use in the hydrochloric acid production process.

  3. Hydrogen-Chlorine Reaction: Once hydrogen and chlorine gases are prepared, they are combined and reacted in a controlled manner. The reaction typically occurs in a reactor vessel equipped with a suitable catalyst, such as platinum or rhodium, to facilitate the reaction:

    H2 + Cl2 → 2HCl

    This reaction produces hydrochloric acid gas (HCl), which is then cooled and condensed to form a liquid solution of hydrochloric acid.

  4. Dissolution in Water: The hydrochloric acid gas is dissolved in water to produce a concentrated solution of hydrochloric acid. This solution can be further diluted to the desired concentration for various industrial, commercial, or laboratory applications.

Overall, the production of hydrochloric acid involves the controlled reaction of hydrogen and chlorine gases in the presence of a catalyst, followed by the dissolution of the resulting hydrochloric acid gas in water. The process is typically carried out in specialized chemical plants equipped with the necessary infrastructure and safety measures to handle corrosive and hazardous materials.

What Is Hydrochloric Acid Used for?

Hydrochloric acid (HCl) is a versatile and widely used chemical with numerous industrial, commercial, and laboratory applications. Some common uses of hydrochloric acid include:

  1. Chemical Manufacturing: Hydrochloric acid is used in the production of a wide range of chemicals, including chlorine, vinyl chloride (used to make PVC), and various pharmaceuticals, dyes, and pigments.

  2. Steel Pickling: Hydrochloric acid is commonly used for pickling or cleaning steel surfaces to remove rust, scale, and other impurities before further processing, such as galvanizing or coating.

  3. pH Control: Hydrochloric acid is used as a pH adjuster or neutralizer in various industrial processes, wastewater treatment, and swimming pool maintenance.

  4. Food Processing: Hydrochloric acid is used in the food industry for various purposes, including adjusting acidity, flavor enhancement, and food preservation (in accordance with regulatory guidelines).

  5. Laboratory Applications: Hydrochloric acid is commonly used in laboratories for chemical analysis, titrations, and as a reagent in various chemical reactions.

  6. Household Cleaning Products: Dilute hydrochloric acid solutions are used in household cleaning products, such as toilet bowl cleaners and descaling agents.

  7. Oil and Gas Production: Hydrochloric acid is used in the oil and gas industry for various applications, including well acidization to enhance the productivity of oil and gas wells.

  8. Water Treatment: Hydrochloric acid is used in water treatment processes to control pH, remove mineral scale deposits, and neutralize alkaline substances.

  9. Textile and Leather Processing: Hydrochloric acid is used in textile and leather processing industries for desizing, bleaching, and pH adjustment.

  10. Metal Cleaning and Etching: Hydrochloric acid is used for cleaning and etching metals, such as aluminum, copper, and brass, in various manufacturing processes.

  11. Chemical Synthesis: Hydrochloric acid is used as a reactant or catalyst in various chemical synthesis processes, including the production of pharmaceuticals, plastics, and synthetic rubber.

These are just a few examples of the diverse range of applications for hydrochloric acid. Its versatility, corrosive properties, and ability to adjust pH make it an essential chemical in many industries and processes. However, it's important to handle hydrochloric acid with care due to its corrosive nature and potential health hazards. Proper safety precautions, such as wearing protective equipment and following appropriate handling and storage procedures, should be observed when working with hydrochloric acid.

What Are The Hazards of Hydrochloric Acid?

Hydrochloric acid (HCl) is a highly corrosive and hazardous chemical that can pose several risks to human health, safety, and the environment. Some of the main hazards associated with hydrochloric acid include:

  1. Corrosive Properties: Hydrochloric acid is highly corrosive to skin, eyes, respiratory tract, and mucous membranes. Contact with concentrated hydrochloric acid can cause severe chemical burns, irritation, and tissue damage. Inhalation of hydrochloric acid vapors or mists can also cause irritation and damage to the respiratory system.

  2. Acute Toxicity: Exposure to high concentrations of hydrochloric acid vapor or mist can cause acute toxicity, leading to symptoms such as coughing, difficulty breathing, chest pain, and throat irritation. Severe exposure may result in pulmonary edema (fluid buildup in the lungs) and respiratory distress.

  3. Environmental Hazards: Spills or releases of hydrochloric acid can have adverse effects on the environment, including contamination of soil, water bodies, and aquatic ecosystems. Hydrochloric acid can be corrosive to metals and may cause damage to infrastructure and equipment if not properly contained and managed.

  4. Reactivity: Hydrochloric acid is reactive with a wide range of substances, including metals, alkalis, and organic materials. It can release hazardous gases (such as hydrogen gas) when reacting with certain metals, posing fire and explosion hazards in confined spaces.

  5. Storage and Handling Risks: Hydrochloric acid must be stored and handled with care due to its corrosive and reactive nature. Improper storage, handling, or mixing with incompatible substances can lead to accidents, spills, and exposure incidents.

  6. Health Effects: Prolonged or repeated exposure to hydrochloric acid vapor or mist may cause chronic respiratory effects, such as bronchitis, asthma, or chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD). Individuals with pre-existing respiratory conditions or sensitivities may be more susceptible to the effects of hydrochloric acid exposure.

  7. Skin and Eye Damage: Contact with hydrochloric acid can cause severe chemical burns and damage to the skin and eyes. Eye contact may result in irritation, redness, and blurred vision, while skin contact may cause pain, redness, and blistering.

  8. Ingestion Hazards: Ingestion of hydrochloric acid can cause severe burns to the mouth, throat, esophagus, and stomach, leading to tissue damage, perforation, and internal bleeding. Ingestion of even small amounts of concentrated hydrochloric acid can be life-threatening and requires immediate medical attention.

Overall, the hazards associated with hydrochloric acid underscore the importance of proper handling, storage, and use of this chemical in industrial, commercial, and laboratory settings. Employers and workers should be trained on the safe handling procedures, use of personal protective equipment, and emergency response protocols to minimize the risks associated with hydrochloric acid exposure. Additionally, regulatory guidelines and safety standards should be followed to ensure compliance and protect human health and the environment.

Hydrochloric Acid 37% ACS Reagent Grade (HCL)

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