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Did you know that Hydrochloric Acid is also known as HCL, muriatic acid, or spirits of salt? It’s utilised in a variety of industrial and commercial settings. For those who work in industries that use this chemical, it’s vital to understand the most common applications, what they accomplish, and what you need to know to handle them safely and responsibly.

Hydrochloric Acid is an odourless, colourless solution with a pungent smell. But behind this almost invisible veneer lies a powerful punch. For instance, Hydrochloric Acid can react with metals to form an explosive gas. Yet, it can also be found in many home cleaning products.

Hydrochloric acid

1150 kg IBCs housed in our warehouse, classified Hazard Class 8, are for corrosive materials, defined as substances that can cause significant harm to living tissue and/or corrode steel and aluminium if they leak.

Hydrochloric Acid is classified as a class 8 hazardous product, i.e. it’s a corrosive substance and can cause burns and irritation to the skin. Due to its corrosive properties, extreme care must be taken when handling this product. Make sure to wear appropriate safety equipment when handling hydrochloric acid. Ensure to avoid direct eye contact; if this occurs, seek immediate medical advice. 

We recommend you consult the safety data sheet when using, storing or handling the product.

Hydrochloric Acid in the market and its many uses

This potent acid is found in many industries and has a wide range of uses.

The most significant end uses for Hydrochloric Acid are steel pickling, oil well acidising, food manufacturing, producing calcium chloride, and ore processing.

We also find substantial use of Hydrochloric Acid across many other industries like:

  • Mining, 
  • water treatment, 
  • oil/gas, 
  • detergents, 
  • leather, building, 
  • textile, 
  • rubber, 
  • photography. 

How its used also varies significantly. For instance, in water treatment, it’s used to control pH levels, or in swimming pools, it can help remove any stubborn algae from the floors and walls of your pool. 

In acidising oil wells, it helps remove carbonate reservoirs, or limestones and dolomites, from the rock. It’s used in laboratories for acid-base titrations and for producing organic and inorganic compounds like PVC.

Hydrochloric acid

Hydrochloric acid is manufactured predominantly in industrial chlor-alkali plants around the world. The process involves the electrolysis of sodium chloride (salt) solution . This produces chlorine gas , sodium hydroxide and hydrogen gas. The hydrogen is then used to produce hydrochloric acid and ammonia.

In 2020 the global Hydrochloric Acid market size was US $7.8 billion and was expected to record a revenue CAGR of 1.5% over the forecast period through 2028. 

Hydrochloric acid

HCL prices are usually fairly stable and tend to increase yearly as a result of CPI increases, usually as a result of the cost of production (labour /electricity costs etc). However, the imported cost of the product is highly dependent on exchange rate variations, packaging and sea freight costs. Finally the overall economics of supply and demand would also play a role in the change in the price of HCL, which is also dependent on Chlorine and liquid Caustic Soda demand, which are all part of the chlo-alkali process.

How can we help you?

Redox’s Hydrochloric Acid is available in various pack sizes, including 20-litre carboys, 240 kg drums, 1150 kg IBCs and bulk tanker/Isotainers loads. The product comes in a range of strengths ranging from 6% to 33%, with 32% hydrochloric acid being the main commonly used strength.

Contact one of our experts to discover how Redox can be essential to your sourcing strategy.

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