Sulfuric Acid Chemical Industrial Pumps and Their Uses

Posted: 4/14/2016

Before deciding on which pump to choose to handle sulfuric acid liquids, you should be aware of the characteristics of sulfuric acids that affect different parts of pumps. You should also consider different aspects that determine the best possible Sulfuric Acid Pump for your special purposes. These aspects include but are not limited to the concentration of the acid, liquid temperature, its specific gravity and the materials composing the pump.

What is Sulfuric Acid and How Does it Affect a Pump?

Figure 1: Sulfuric Acid Concentrations and Pump Materials

Sulfuric Acid Concentrations and Pump Materials

A single or collection of material/s may be rated for a higher temperature/s then the pump as a whole is capable of. It is important to contact a March representative to determine if the pump as a complete unit is suitable for the concentration and temperature of any chemical.

Sulfuric Acid, or H2So4, is a colorless and heavy substance that is available only in liquid form. Among other characteristics, sulfuric acid is a powerful protonating and moderately strong oxidizing agent. These characteristics have a profound impact on the different materials that a pump is made of.

For example, sulfuric acid with a concentration of above 95% can easily transform carbon (C), widely used as a pump bushing, to carbon dioxide (Co2). Nitrile rubber, also known as Buna-N, is widely used for pumps’ O-rings, but with concentrations of above 70%, it cannot resist sulfuric acid at all.

What are Some Applications of Sulfuric Acids in the Industry?

Sulfuric acid is one of the most important compounds made by the chemical industry.  It is used to make hundreds of compounds needed by almost every industry. Worldwide production of sulfuric acid stands at around 180 million tons per year, with the USA alone producing about 40 million tons and Europe and Russia producing circa 19 and 9 million tons of it respectively. Some of the applications of sulfuric acid in the industry are as follows:

1-      Chemical Manufacturing: Almost 50% of the worldwide sulfuric acid is used to produce phosphate fertilizers. This is a particularly important fertilizer for handling sulfur deficiency.

2-      Mining: Sulfuric acid is widely used in the mining industry to recover different types of metals like zinc or copper, from their ores or the ground.

3-      Desalination: Desalination is the process of removing salts and minerals from saline water, but also generally from any material. In the case of saline water, sulfuric acid is used for pH adjustment of sea water.

4-      Biofuel: There are different processes for generating biodiesel and some of them involve using sulfuric acids. To create this kind of biodiesel generators, a proper sulfuric acid pump is needed.

Choosing the Right Sulfuric Acid Pump

Choosing the correct pump can be a bit complicated at first, with some of the parameters involved sounding overwhelming to a non-engineer. Because the needs and design of a pump will vary based on the industry and process involved, it is always recommended that you discuss your needs with a manufacturer or distributor prior to purchase. And, as always, our experts our on hand to help determine which March Pump best suits your needs. Just give us a call or contact us online.

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