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Category: Acids

Boric Acid

Boric acid, a white powder or colorless crystal, is a weak boron-based acid. Boric acid is naturally present in mineral deposits like sassolite and can be sourced from hot mineral water springs. The minerals containing boric acid are processed using sulfuric acid to isolate crystalline boric acid. Borates, including boric acid, have a long history of use dating back to ancient times for purposes such as cleaning and food preservation. In 1948, boric acid was officially approved for insecticidal use in the United States. Additionally, it has been employed as an antiseptic and featured in various commercial products.

While minor, one-time consumption typically poses no significant harm, extensive ingestion or frequent contact can lead to toxicity symptoms such as gastrointestinal issues with green-blue vomit or diarrhea, distinctive skin alterations resembling ‘boiled lobster,’ and kidney damage that may be life-threatening. In severe instances, hemodialysis may be a viable treatment option.

Characteristics
Chemical formula H3BO3
CAS Number 10043-35-3
IUPAC Name Trihydroxidoboron
Other names Orthoboric acid, hydrogen orthoborate, trihydroxidoboron, boracic acid
Molecular Weight 61.84 gm
Appearance Colorless, transparent crystals, or white granules or powder, odorless
Density 1.44 g/cm³

 

Applications

Boric acid is a versatile substance with various applications in different fields.

  • Medicine: Boric acid is known for its antibacterial and antifungal properties, making it a valuable substance in medicine. It is used in disinfecting all body parts.
  • Lubricants: Boric acid is used in the production of lubricants that have high biological stability and pH stability due to its disinfection properties.
  • Fire Retardants: Boron salts, including boric acid, release water when heated, reducing ignition and fire.
  • Anti-Cancer Properties: Boric acid has been found to have anti-cancer properties, reducing the growth of cancer cells with higher doses.
  • Ceramic Industry: Boric acid is used to reduce the thermal expansion of materials and make ceramics, tiles, and glazed dishes shiny and attractive.
  • Insecticides: In households, it can be used to combat crawling insects like cockroaches

Additionally, it is a component in nickel plating solutions and electric capacitors, used for treating wicks and strengthening steel. In laboratory settings, boric acid is utilized to create buffer solutions.

 

Environmental impact and sustainability of Boric Acid

Boric acid undergoes decomposition at temperatures above 100 degrees Celsius, resulting in the formation of boric anhydride. The solution of boric anhydride is characterized as a weak acid. Boric acid and borate salts are typically eliminated from soils through leaching and absorption by plants. The low volatility of boric acid and other borates leads to minimal quantities of these compounds in the earth’s atmosphere. Particulates are removed through precipitation and direct deposition.

The half-life of airborne borate particles varies between a few days, contingent on the particle size and atmospheric conditions. Boric acid and borates are not believed to degrade or undergo transformation through photolysis, oxidation, or hydrolysis in the atmosphere.

When animals consume boric acid, they may experience increased salivation, thirst, elevated body temperature, vomiting, and diarrhea. Seizures and other neurological issues can manifest in cases of significant boric acid ingestion.

Packing

Boric acid is supplied in various forms, commonly in the form of white crystalline powder or granules. It can also be found in solution form in water.

Citric Acid

Citric acid is a naturally occurring substance and a common metabolite found in plants and animals. A healthy adult human body produces and metabolizes approximately 1.5 kg of citric acid per day. Additionally, this organic acid is obtained from a wide variety of natural dietary sources.

Citric acid has several highly variable characteristics, and as a purely biological product, it can be safely used in the food and pharmaceutical industries. As a result, citric acid is employed in a growing number of products and is the most versatile and widely used organic acid in the food and beverage (70%) as well as the pharmaceutical (10%) sectors.

The production of citric acid (CA) fluctuates based on factors such as demand, pricing, and manufacturer capacity. In recent years, the CA market has faced significant pressure. The high costs of raw materials and energy have transformed what was once a profitable CA production sector into an unprofitable market. As a result, finding alternative.

Technical Characteristics

Chemical formula C₆H₈O₇
CAS Number 77-92-9
Other names 2-hydroxypropane-1,2,3-tricarboxylic acid, Anhydrous citric acid, Citrate, Citric Acid Monohydrate, Uralyt U
Molecular Weight 192.124 g/mole
Appearance Odorless white solid
Density 1.66 g/cm³ (Anhydrous)

 

Applications

The application of citric acid spans across various industries and products.

Food and Beverages: Citric acid is widely used as a preservative, flavor enhancer, and acidity regulator in food and beverage products. It helps extend shelf life, adds a tart, tangy flavor, and adjusts the pH.

Cosmetics: In cosmetics, citric acid is added to skincare products like cleansers, toners, and serums. It helps brighten the skin, minimize the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles, and even out skin tone.

Cleaning Products: Citric acid is utilized in cleaning products due to its disinfectant properties, ability to remove stains, and effectiveness in removing hard water deposits and buildup.

Pharmaceuticals: In the pharmaceutical industry, citric acid serves as a pH corrector and antioxidant. It helps preserve the stability and potency of vitamins, minerals, and other active ingredients in drug formulations.

Environmental impact and sustainability of Citric Acid

The corrosive properties of this substance can hinder plant germination. Increasing the amount of this substance in the soil raises its acidity, disrupting plant growth systems and potentially leading to premature plant death due to nutrient deficiencies. While citric acid has some positive effects on the environment and human life, its impact is limited.

Repeated application of this acid can induce an allelopathic effect in plants, inhibiting the growth of plants and biological processes. This characteristic has led to the use of citric acid in weed control. Additionally, small quantities of citric acid and ascorbic acid can aid in the rooting and survival of cherry branches.

Excessive use of citric acid in water can disrupt the Krebs cycle and lead to the accumulation of excess phosphate. The Krebs cycle is essential for plants to convert citric acids into phosphate, providing energy to cells.

Packing and Storage

Citric acid is offered in various physical forms for commercial use, including granular, fine granular, powder, liquid (as a 50% solution), and anhydrous (solid) forms. Companies such as Univar Solutions supply citric acid in these diverse granular, powder, and liquid variations to cater to the requirements of different industries and applications. Citric Acid and Citrates shall be kept in tightly closed containers in a cool, dry, well-ventilated and pollution-free place. Open-air storage is not allowed. Keep away from toxic, harmful, corrosive, polluting goods. Keep at temperature not exceeding 30℃ at a relative humidity not exceeding 50%. Citric acid can be packaged and delivered in sacks or big bags.

Chromic acid

Chromic acid, a strong oxidizing agent that is utilized in various industries, comprises a chromium atom surrounded by four oxygen atoms. In its structure, two oxygen atoms each form single bonds with the chromium atom and a hydrogen atom individually, while the remaining two oxygen atoms create double bonds with the chromium atom.

Chromic acid is produced when chromium trioxide reacts with water. Chromium trioxide is crystalline, light red or brown in color, deliquescent, and fully soluble in water. Chromic acid is a very weak acid, and its salts can be dissociated even by acetic acid. It has a powerful oxidizing effect and is itself reduced to CrO3, which is why it should never be combined with alcohol or formalin. However, chromic acid is used in combination with formalin in some fixing fluids, where the reducing action is slow, allowing for the completion of fixation before the acid is fully reduced.

Technical Characteristics

Chemical formula H2CrO4
CAS Number 7738-94-5
Other names Chromic(VI) acid, Dihydroxidodioxidochromium, tetraoxochromic acid, Dichromic acid
Molecular Weight 118.01 g/mole (chromic acid)
Appearance Odorless dark purplish-red sand-like crystalline solid or powder
Density 1.201 g/cm³

 

Applications

Chromic acid was once commonly used as a strong oxidizing agent for cleaning laboratory glassware, eliminating any stubborn organic residues that were otherwise difficult to remove. However, due to significant health concerns, its use has been prohibited in many institutions.

Other than that chromic acid finds applications in various industries and processes due to its unique properties.

Metal Finishing: Chromic acid is used in metal finishing processes where surfaces of objects are coated. It plays a crucial role in chromium plating.

Wood Preservation: Chromic acid is involved in wood preservatives to protect wood from bacteria and insects.

Plastic Production: Chromic acid plays a role in the production of plastic products.

Textile Industry: It is used as a mordant in the textile industry, facilitating the reaction between dyes and fabrics.

Musical Instrument Repair: Chromic acid was widely used in the musical instrument repair industry to brighten raw brass, leaving a bright yellow patina on the brass.

Photography: It is used as a bleach in black and white photographic reversal processing.

Other Applications: Chromic acid is also utilized in the oxidation of organic compounds in organic chemistry reactions, in laboratories, instrument repair, and in the metal industry.

Environmental impact and sustainability of Chromic acid

Chromic acid’s environmental impact and sustainability are major concerns due to its toxicity and carcinogenic properties. It has been extensively used in various applications, such as cleaning lab glassware, metal finishing, wood preservation, plastic production, ceramic glazes, and colored glass manufacturing. However, due to its dangerous nature, its use has been prohibited in many places, and eco-friendly alternatives have been developed.

Packing and Storage

Chromic acid is provided by a variety of distributors and manufacturers like Chemicals Global, Wego Chemical Group, and Vishnu Chemicals. These suppliers offer chromic acid in various forms and quantities, including chromium trioxide, a key component of chromic acid. Typically, the acid is delivered in steel drums equipped with locking rings, available in sizes ranging from 25 kg to 250 kg. Proper storage of chromic acid is advised in a cool, dry, and well-ventilated area, away from flammable materials.

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