Uses & Benefits
Hydrochloric acid is a strong, corrosive acid that can be used to make steel for bridges and cars. It is used in the chemical industry in the large-scale production of vinyl chloride for PVC plastic, and it is one of the chemicals that produces polyurethane foam and calcium chloride.
Other common end uses for hydrochloric acid include food manufacturing (see, e.g.).
Hydrochloric acid is used in pickling operations to remove rust and other impurities from carbon, alloy and stainless steels, to prepare the steel for final applications in car bodies, bridges and household appliances for example. It is also used in aluminum etching and metal cleaning applications.
Hydrochloric acid is used as an ingredient in household cleaners such as toilet bowl cleaners, bathroom tile cleaners and other porcelain cleaners, due to its corrosive properties that help clean tough stains.
Hydrochloric acid is used as a swimming pool treatment chemical, to help maintain an optimal pH level in the water.
The food industry uses hydrochloric acid in the processing of a variety of food products, such as corn syrups used in soft drinks, cookies, crackers, ketchup and cereals and other food products. Hydrochloric acid is also used as an acidifier in sauces, vegetable juices and canned goods, to help enhance flavor and reduce spoilage.
Calcium chloride production
When hydrochloric acid is mixed or reacted with limestone, it produces calcium chloride, a type of salt used to de-ice roads. Calcium chloride also has uses in food production as a stabilizer and firming agent, for example in baked goods, as well as uses as an antimicrobial.