29 Sulphuric acid Uses: Facts You Should Know!

Sulphuric acid is an inorganic mineral acid with the chemical formula H2SO4, and a molar mass of 98.08 g/mol. Let us have a look at the uses of sulphuric acid.

Sulphuric acid, a potent and corrosive chemical, is widely used in different industries like-

  • Fertilizer industry
  • Chemical industry
  • Petroleum industry
  • Textiles industry
  • Metallurgical industry
  • Agrochemical industry
  • Domestic uses

Let us focus on the application of dilute sulphuric acid in detail in this article.

Fertilizer industry

  • Sulphuric acid has historically been used to manufacture phosphoric acid, a key ingredient for the production of phosphate fertilizer – superphosphate of lime for acidic soils and to restore phosphorus to the soil.
  • The key ingredient in the preparation of ammonium sulphate fertilizer, is sulphuric acid. It helps to neutralize soil alkalinity and restore nitrogen back to the soil.

Chemical Industry

  • In the chemical industry sulphuric acid is mainly used for manufacturing chemicals like hydrochloric acid, nitric acid, and sulphate salts.
  • Sulphuric acid is employed in producing a number of diverse esters and diesters, including dimethyl sulphate, a particularly potent alkylating agent.
  • For the production of synthetic detergents, soaps, paints, and photographic chemicals, sulphuric acid is commonly used.
  • As a solvent, sulphuric acid is used in synthesizing several chemicals and alkylating agents, including active pharmaceutical constituents.
  • In the paper and pulp industry, sulphuric acid is the main raw material for the production of chlorine dioxide, a strong oxidizing agent and bleaching agent.
  • Sulphuric acid serves as an electrode in electrochemical reactions.

Petroleum industry

  • Crude hydrocarbons and their derivatives, such as jet fuel, diesel, and gasoline, are refined using sulfuric acid.
  • Sulphuric acid is utilized to separate sulphur from crude organic substances like natural gas and oil.
  • Oil refinery tanks are cleaned with sulfuric acid, typically under high pressure.

Textiles Industry

  • As a dehydrating agent, sulphuric acid is used to prepare various dyes and pigments.
  • In the extraction of color from dyes and colorants, sulphuric acid is utilized.
  • To make a slurry with various hues, sulphuric acid is fed to dyeing machines.
  • After being dyed, the clothing is cleaned using sulphuric acid.
  • Sulphuric acid is essentially used to remove stains, oils, and grime from clothing.
  • The manufacture of rayon fibers requires the use of sulphuric acid.

Metallurgical Industry

  • Sulphuric acid is utilized in metal processing to produce copper and zinc.
  • As a cleansing agent, sulphuric acid is used in the treatment of metals to remove impurities, rust, or scale from the surface. In the case of steel, this process is known as pickling.
  • Sulphuric acid provides a dual synergistic defense against the oxidation or rusting of iron.
  • In the microelectronics industry, a mixture of sulphuric acid with hydrogen peroxide (Piranha solution), is required for cleaning, as it is a potent oxidizing agent.
  • Lead-acid storage batteries for automobiles are made using sulphuric acid as an electrolyte.

Agrochemical Industry

  • In the agrochemical industry, sulphuric acid is used in a range of applications like the production of pesticides, fungicides, herbicides, and plant growth regulators.
  • An important usage of sulphuric acid is in potato harvesting.
  • Sulphuric acid serves as a disinfectant for sterilizing equipment.

Domestic uses

As a conventional acidic drain cleaner, sulphuric acid is widely used to remove oil, hair, tissue paper etc., in homes and sewage treatment plants.

Dilute Sulphuric Acid Uses

Dilute sulphuric acid is an odorless, colorless mineral acid.  It is used as a hydrating agent, unlike concentrated sulphuric acid. It has a high molar strength of hydrogen ions.

The industries that use dilute sulphuric acid are discussed below.

  • Batteries
  • Biofuels
  • Laboratory


As an electrolyte, dilute sulphuric acid is used for manufacturing storage and galvanic batteries.


As a hydrating agent, dilute sulphuric acid is utilized to prepare ether, starch, and sugar which are the ingredients in biofuel manufacture.


  • As a lab reagent in acid-base titration and in non-complementary redox titrations, dilute sulphuric acid is commonly used.
  • Dilute sulphuric acid is effectively utilized in the precipitation of barium and calcium sulphates.


Sulphuric acid, commonly known as universal chemical, oil of vitriol,  and king of chemicals, is a polar liquid used as a raw material or a processing aid in many different ways.