The phosphoric acid, commonly known as orthophosphoric acid or phosphoric (V) acid, has the chemical formula H3PO4. It’s usually found in the form of a colourless syrup with an 85 per cent concentration in water. The chemical in its purest form is a colourless solid.
In chemical laboratories, phosphoric acid is often found as an aqueous solution, which is a colorless, odourless, and non-volatile syrupy liquid. Despite the fact that phosphoric acid does not satisfy the legal definition of a strong acid, the solution can cause significant skin irritation and eye damage. This acid can be distinguished from other phosphoric acids, such as pyrophosphoric acid, by its designated name of orthophosphoric acid. Despite this, the name is frequently used to refer to this exact chemical, which is the current IUPAC nomenclature.
Basicity Of Phosphoric Acid:
Phosphoric acid, H3PO4, has a basicity of 3. The number of acidic hydrogen atoms in a molecule determines its basicity. To be acidic, hydrogen must be bound to a strongly electronegative atom like oxygen or fluorine.
Fertilizers are the most common use of phosphoric acid, accounting for over ninety percent of its market. Acidifying foods and beverages, such as colas and jams, with food-grade phosphoric acid gives them a tangy or sour taste. Soft drinks that include phosphoric acid, such as Coca-Cola, are known as phosphate sodas or phosphates. Soft drink phosphoric acid has the potential to induce tooth erosion. Phosphoric acid may also contribute to the production of kidney stones, especially in people who have suffered from it previously.
Phosphoric acid has a variety of other secondary uses, including:
1 Removal Of rust:
Phosphoric acid is widely used to remove rust from metals such as iron and steel. When this acid is poured to rust, it usually reacts with it and transforms the reddish-brown iron, which is often ferric oxide (iron oxide), to a black-colored molecule called ferric phosphate. This dark ferric phosphate material is fairly easy to get rid of.
2. The food and beverage industry:
Food additives containing phosphoric acid are common. Jams, cereal bars, processed meats, cheese, and other foods contain this acid, which works as an acidity regulator. Phosphoric acid is used as an acidulant in the beverage industry. It aids in the prevention of the growth of fungus and bacteria. It also enhances the flavour of these beverages. However, there is continuous discussion over the acid’s consequences and hazards on people’s health.
3. Personal care products:
Phosphoric acid is used in the manufacturing of a wide range of personal care products. Cleaning items, bath products, fragrances, hair care products and colours, nail products, makeup, and other skin care items are just a few examples. Phosphoric acid, in these commodities, is utilised to regulate the pH level.
4. Pharmaceutical industry:
This acid is mostly employed as a pharmacological intermediary. Dentistry is one of the most common applications for phosphoric acid. It is commonly used to clean teeth and is used as an etching solution. Phosphoric acid is also used in teeth whiteners and mouthwash solutions. Anti-nausea medications often contain it too.
5. Other Applications:
There are a few other applications for this acid as well. In fuel cells and oxyhydrogen generators, phosphoric acid is utilised as an electrolyte. It is also utilised in the production of synthetic detergents as well as the treatment of water and metals. It’s also used in the construction sector to get rid of mineral deposits, cement streaks, and hard water stains. It can form activated carbon compounds by acting as a chemical oxidising agent.
Health hazards from Phosphoric Acid :
For human beings, It is more common to have consumed too much phosphorus than to have a deficiency for it. Because phosphorus is naturally contained in many foods and phosphoric acid is used as a food additive, hence most individuals get enough of it. Although Phosphorus is necessary for your body, too much of it can be harmful. Excessive phosphorus intake, according to studies, can put you at risk for osteoporosis and heart disease. Calcium and phosphorus work together to help teeth and bones grow and stay healthy. In order to be effective, the minerals must be balanced. Too much phosphorus can cause your body’s calcium levels to drop, resulting in bone loss. It can also make it difficult for your body to use other minerals such as iron, zinc, and magnesium.
If you come into contact with phosphoric acid as a chemical substance, it is extremely harmful. Your skin, eyes, and respiratory system may be irritated by the poisonous vapours. Phosphorus in the recommended daily allowance (RDA) for normal bodily function is 700 mg. This is easily obtained from natural food sources. Protein-rich foods such as meat, beans, eggs, chicken, and fish are typically high in phosphorus. This suggests that phosphoric acid obtained from processed foods and soda is likely in excess of the body’s requirements.