Perchloric acid, dissolved in water, is considered the strongest among monobasic acids. It has pronounced oxidizing properties and is used as a catalyst.
Physical and chemical properties
Perchloric acid is a colorless liquid, highly fuming and rapidly evaporating in air. Chlorine in its composition has the maximum oxidation state characteristic of it, therefore this acid is the strongest oxidizing agent. It dissolves well in organic solvents: chloroform, methylene chloride, as well as in water (in any ratio, forming hydrates). Concentrated aqueous solutions of perchloric acid have an oily consistency. Its salts are called perchlorates.
Perchloric acid is an explosive substance. When handling it, extra care is required (storage is allowed only in tightly closed containers). The rooms where the containers are kept must be well ventilated. Temperature drops are not allowed. This does not apply to her aqueous solutions, they are not so dangerous. Their oxidizing capacity is several times lower, they cannot explode and have a fairly good stability. Do not mix perchloric acid with oxidizing solutions. It is considered one of the strongest acids. Even some acidic compounds, getting into it, behave like bases.
Getting perchloric acid
In industry, an aqueous solution of perchloric acid is obtained, as well as an anhydrous analogue. The latter can be obtained by reacting potassium or sodium perchlorate with concentrated sulfuric acid. There is also a second way: the interaction of oleum with dilute sulfuric acid. An aqueous solution of sulfuric acid can also be obtained in two ways: by electrochemical oxidation of chlorine in concentrated hydrochloric acid, or through the exchange decomposition of potassium and sodium perchlorates.
Application in various industries
Perchloric acid is used in the decomposition of complex ores into components, as well as as a catalyst. It is available in all chemical laboratories, as it is necessary for many experiments in analytical chemistry. This acid is used as a strong oxidizing agent. It cannot be stored for a long time, as it is capable of spontaneous decomposition, which can provoke a powerful explosion.
It is used to produce perchlorates. Potassium perchlorate, a salt that is practically insoluble in water, is used in the manufacture of explosives. Magnesium perchlorate, known as anhydrone, acts as a desiccant by absorbing liquids.