Nitric acid, also known as aqua fortis, is a highly corrosive and toxic chemical that has several applications in various industries. Despite its hazardous nature, nitric acid is widely used due to its excellent oxidizing properties and serves as an essential raw material in the production of a wide range of products. In this article, we will discuss the advantages of using nitric acid in industrial applications.
1. Production of fertilizers:
Nitric acid is a vital component in manufacturing Ammonium Nitrate and other nitrogen-containing fertilizers. The fertilizer industry globally depends heavily on the production of nitric acid with an estimated 80 percent use by demand. Agriculture is the backbone of the world’s economic growth, and with the production of the added fertilizers, it contributes significantly to the global food supply.
2. Manufacturing industry:
Nitric acid is a key component in manufacturing various products such as plastics, dyes, and explosives considerably. In the plastic industry, nitric acid serves as a needed a constituent in manufacturing nylon, urethane, and various other plastics. Its application in the dye industry is to dye wool, silk, and other textiles. And from its oxidizing properties, it is an essential component in the production of explosives such as TNT, dynamite, etc.
3. Metal Manufacturing:
The production of metals entails using nitric acid primarily for electroplating and in the process of purifying. Nitric acid is essential in the production of steel, brass, and other metals. In the purification process, the metal is heated in nitric acid to remove impurities that may have been present during the production process.
4. Cleaning and Processing Industry:
Nitric acid is an excellent cleaning agent in industrial and medical application. Its use in the medical industry is sterilization of surgical equipment during surgery. It is also used in the processing industry in surgically cleaning surfaces for use in pharmaceutical production.
5. Industrial safety:
Despite its hazardous nature, Nitric acid is used as an essential safety tool in many industries. A commonly used safety application is the chemical make-up to detect and locate gas leaks in welding and industrial boilers. In electronic equipment, it serves as an integral part of the production process significantly.
In conclusion, nitric acid is a highly useful chemical with numerous applications in different industries. From electronics to agriculture, it has proved to be a vital chemical component in the production of the products we use daily. Proper handling is required to avoid accidents or spillages, leading to dangerous consequences due to its highly corrosive and toxic nature. However, its benefits outweigh the risks, making it a necessary component for the development of the contemporary world.