Most Dangerous Acids You Must Handle Carefully in a Lab

collection of deadly acids

In our everyday life, we often come across the word ‘acid’ not only if we are studying chemistry but in our regular conversations as well. Some of the most dangerous Acids are commonly used for a lot of purposes which include cleaning, disinfecting, and several other such places.

We need to understand the different types of acid so that we can be careful and also we can know when something from this category is present around us in some of the other forms.

Basically, this article will be focusing on curating a list of the most dangerous acids. The categorization will be based on several parameters such as the degree of the corrosiveness, the extent to which these can be deadly.

To give you a better understanding of this and the dangers of acid, we will classify the acids below. After reading this post, you will get an answer to the question, what is the most dangerous acid in the chemical world?

Corrosive Acids

a warning sign to handle the most corrosive acids

This first step to understand how corrosive acids work is by understanding the chemistry of corrosion. How a certain agent reacts to a specific surface and what reactions happen to make that substance come under the category of corrosive acids is what we are trying to explain here.

Strongest Acid in the World

deadly acids in a lab

There are exactly seven strong acids. The rest of the acids are weak. To understand, why a certain acid is a strong acid, we must first understand its chemical composition. This will help us to get an in-depth idea of how the strength of an acid is measured.

So basically, the more easily an acid can release Hydrogen ions, the stronger it is. The list of some most dangerous acids that fulfill this criterion is as follows:

  • Chloric acid
  • Hydrobromic acid
  • Hydrochloric acid
  • Hydroiodic acid
  • Nitric acid
  • Perchloric acid
  • Sulfuric acid.
  • Fluoroantimonic acid

One thing that we can note here is that how strong an acid is, does not determine the extent of damage it can do. An acid can be weak and do a lot of damage and can be more corrosive. So, above was a list of the strongest acid in the world.

Most Powerful Acid

sulphuric acid in a purple tank

Let us dive a little into the extent to which acid is effective. Apart from the most dangerous acids, these can also be classified under what can be called ‘powerful acids’. So, some of the most powerful acids are:

Sulfuric Acid

  • Sulfuric acid is considered to be a powerful acid as it has so many uses.
  • It is used in the treatment of wastewater, in agriculture, oil refining, and other such industries. Also, it is used in equipment and batteries, and other electrical tools.
  • This powerful acid is known for its extreme oxidizing properties and its highly corrosive nature. Especially when it comes to contact with your skin, it can be one of the most dangerous acids.
  • Sulphuric acid has such severe dehydrating properties that it can create severe burns.

Hydrochloric Acid

  • This is a highly corrosive acid. It can be used for multiple purposes. One can use this acid to process steel in the manufacturing and construction industry.
  • Also, it is used to manufacture plastic. It is also used as a house cleaner, in pool cleaning, and in food manufacturing.
  • It is very commonly used as an acidifier in sauces. Also, this acid finds its uses in canned vegetables and pickles to prevent these from getting spoiled.
  • Other places where you will find it getting used is in leather processing, producing gelatin products, and the building and construction industry.
  • This acid is so reactive that when mixed with limestone, it can be used to get rid of ice from the road. The details of this acid can be found here.

Triflic acid

Triflic acid is one of the most powerful acids. Once it comes in contact with skin, it can cause severe burns and also can cause a delay in tissue repair. If inhaled by mistake, it can lead to inflammation, edema, and other severe spasms. Now, all this information makes it quite understandable as to why this is also listed under one of the most dangerous acids.

Fluorinated Carborane Acid

When it comes to curating a list of the strongest acids, carborane acid is an acid that we cannot miss out on. It belongs to the superacid family. Here is a detailed demonstration of this acid.

Magic Acid

  • This acid is highly toxic. It has also been considered to be one of the most poisonous acids to aquatic life. If inhaled, it can lead to severe eye burns.
  • Skin burns are also a common result of coming in exposure to this acid.
  • It is extremely advisable to use proper equipment while handling this acid. We should use a good quality shield. Also, laboratory-approved gloves should be used to prevent even slight chances of this acid coming in contact with the skin.
  • The extent to which this is a powerful acid is visible from the fact that it comes under the category of superacids. Its extremely reactive property is something that gets it all these tags.

Perchloric Acid

Perchloric acid is highly explosive in nature. Due to this property, it is used in making some types of syntheses. Another major place where this acid, which is one of the most dangerous acids, is in use is in creating rocket fuels. A very important rocket fuel is ammonium perchlorate.

Deadly acids

a toxic and dangerous acid

We can term such acids as  ‘deadly acids’.The list of such acids contains mainly four major names. These are:

Caro’s Acid

Another name for this is the Pirhana solution. This is such a deadly acid, that we can compare it to a carnivorous fish. Previously, it’s uses were in chemistry labs to clean glass equipment.

You are not going to find it in labs these days because it is among the most dangerous acids that are there. This acid is extremely reactive and has the ability to explode.

Due to the constituents present in it, it turns out to be an extremely corrosive acid as well. Violent bubbling can happen and a lot of destruction can be created if something goes wrong while working with or while handling this acid.

Another factor that serves as a major challenge with this acid is its disposal. You cannot dispose of it off by reacting it with any base because that kind of reaction will be vigorous and will release oxygen gas.

Hydrofluoric acid

Hydrofluoric acid is such a deadly acid that we can consider this acid to be extremely lethal when inhaled in even a minute trace. It proves to be a perfect fit under the category of most dangerous acids because it causes numbness.

It takes away your ability to feel. So, suppose you burn yourself from hydrofluoric acid, you might not even know about it. This is because it does not let you feel any sort of burn or any sensation.

If hydrofluoric acid enters your bloodstream, it will cause you to get permanent damages to your tissues. Also, in some cases, you will feel the pain but there will be no visible traces of injury. Hydrofluoric acid is mostly stored in plastic containers.

Aqua Regia

There are these noble metals gold and silver which are considered to be incapable of getting dissolved by any acid. But aqua regia is such a deadly acid, that it can dissolve even these.

Reacting aqua regia with metals tends to release extremely poisonous vapors in the air. This is a really strong acid. Because of its ability to dissolve noble metals, this deadly acid is termed ‘royal water’.

Some Books on Acids

acid bond structure and a deadly acid in a lab

To get an in-depth knowledge of how acids work and in what manner does the chemical reaction happens in them, you can refer to these books which will answer all your whys regarding the most dangerous acids.

You will learn about some really deadly acids and also about some of the most corrosive acids. Apart from this, you will understand where do the poisonous acids get their poison from.

So, here’s a list:

  • Stewart’s Textbook of Acid-Base – This book focuses on practical teaching about acids and the dangers of acids. It contains experiments and tests which will enhance your understanding of the reactions that happen in an acid. More information can be found on this link.
  • Acids, Bases, and Salts: An EST Group Program – The best part about this book is the simplicity that it carries. There is this other PDF that contains a lot of information on acids.

Let’s talk about fluoroantimonic acid

  • The thing about this acid is that even a slight sprinkle of fluoroantimonic acid on the skin can cause unbearable pain.
  • Fluoroantimonic acid is the top name in the list of superacids and it enjoys a special place on the list of most dangerous acids.
  • This acid can rapidly decompose the moment it comes in contact with water.
  • Fluoroantimonic acid decomposes and generates hydrogen fluoride gas when the temperature is increased.
  • One can estimate the power of fluoroantimonic acid that it is so powerful that it can dissolve even glass.
  • Fluoroantimonic acid is used in several experiments and is considered to be extremely deadly. A lot of chemists have lost their lives due to this superacid.

Until now, you must have got an idea of what is the most corrosive acid in the chemical world. If you happen to handle the above-mentioned in your life, you must do it with great precaution.

John Snow

John Snow is a writer based in France. He has written for several publications and popular blogs, and he loves to share knowledge on different subjects.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *