How to clean sulfuric acid tanks

Written by clayton kim
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How to clean sulfuric acid tanks
Ammonia neutralises the pH balance of sulphuric acid. (Jupiterimages/ Images)

Sulphuric acid is the most-produced chemical by the United States by volume. Sulphuric acid removes hydrogen and water from many materials. It can melt off your skin within a few seconds. Extreme caution must be used when cleaning sulphuric acid tanks. While it is a dangerous process, sulphuric acid tanks must be cleaned to maintain their security. The tanks are made from carbon steel, which does not react to the acid.

Skill level:

Things you need

  • Ammonia solution .166 mol/L
  • High-pressure spray nozzle
  • Commercial liquid tank
  • Litmus paper

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  1. 1

    Fill a commercial liquid tank with two parts of ammonia solution and three parts distilled water.

  2. 2

    Spray the interior surface of the sulphuric acid tank.

  3. 3

    Let the ammonia solution soak for two hours. The ammonia solution neutralises the pH of the sulphuric acid.

  4. 4

    Test the pH of the sulphuric acid tank. Wipe a piece of litmus paper on the side of the tank. Litmus paper turns blue when contacted with acid, and turns red when contacted with a base.

  5. 5

    Repeat Step 2 and 3 until the litmus paper does not react.

  6. 6

    Drain the excess solution from the sulphuric acid tank. Leave the tank open to dry.

Tips and warnings

  • Sulphuric acid is highly corrosive. You must wear protective clothing, goggles, mask and gloves.

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