Difference Between Hydrochloric Acid and Sulfuric Acid

Main difference

The main difference between hydrochloric acid and sulfuric acid is that hydrochloric acid is the type of mineral acid that contains only one proton in the compound while sulfuric acid is the type of mineral acid that contains only two protons in the compound. …

Hydrochloric Acid vs. Sulfuric Acid

Hydrochloric acid is the acid that is known as monobasic while sulfuric acid is the acid that is also known as dibasic. Hydrochloric acid contains only one proton; on the other hand, sulfuric acid contains only two protons. Hydrochloric acid is a weaker acid than sulfuric acid; on the other hand, sulfuric acid is stronger acid than hydrochloric acid.

The mass formula for hydrochloric acid is 36.5 grams per mole, while the mass formula for sulfuric acid is 98 grams per mole. Hydrochloric acid is also known as monoprotic; on the other hand, sulfuric acid has another name, diprotic. Hydrochloric acid gives up one proton in a molecule in solution, while sulfuric acid gives up two protons in one molecule in solution.

Hydrochloric acid does not contain a hydroxyl group in the molecule; on the other hand, sulfuric acid contains two hydroxyl groups in the molecule. The chemical formula of hydrochloric acid is HCl; on the other hand, the chemical formula of sulfuric acid is H 2 SO 4 . Hydrochloric acid has weak chemical properties while sulfuric acid has strong chemical properties.

Hydrochloric acid acts as a weak reducing agent while sulfuric acid acts as a strong oxidizing agent. The pH of hydrochloric acid is higher than the pH of sulfuric acid, while sulfuric acid has a slightly lower pH than the pH of hydrochloric acid. Hydrochloric acid has one hydrogen atom and one chlorine atom in the formula composition, on the contrary, sulfuric acid has two hydrogen atoms, four oxygen atoms and one sulfur atom in the formula composition.

Hydrochloric acid is in gaseous form at room temperature; on the other hand, sulfuric acid is a liquid at room temperature. In hydrochloric acid, the chlorine atom is the main nucleophile, on the contrary, in sulfuric acid the sulfur atom is the main nucleophile. The pKa of hydrochloric acid is greater than that of sulfuric acid, while the pKa of sulfuric acid is less than that of hydrochloric acid.

The catalytic power of hydrochloric acid is less prominent than that of sulfuric acid, while the catalytic power of sulfuric acid is higher than that of hydrochloric acid. The ionization of hydrochloric acid in water occurs in a single step; on the other hand, the ionization of sulfuric acid in water occurs in two steps.

Comparison chart

Hydrochloric acid Sulfuric acid
Hydrochloric acid is the type of mineral acid that contains only one proton in the compound. Sulfuric acid is the acid that is also known as dibasic.
ionization steps
Only in one step since it contains only one step Only in two steps, since it contains two steps
catalytic ability
Less prominent catalytic ability Most prominent ability
pH
high pH low pH
pKa
under high
physical nature
Gas at room temperature Oily liquid at room temperature
nucleophilic atom
Primary chlorine atom main sulfur atom
Chemical formula
HCl H2SO4 _ _ _
Chemical composition
Hydrogen and chlorine atoms Hydrogen, Oxygen, and Sulfur Atoms
Oxidizing / Reducing
Reducing agent Oxidizing agent
molar mass
36.5 grams per mole 98 grams per mole
-OH groups
Absent two hydroxyl groups
proton numbers
A proton-monobasic acid Two protons-dibasic acid
acid strength
weak acid strong acid

What is hydrochloric acid?

Hydrochloric acid is the acid that has the ability to donate a proton in the aqueous solution. It has a single step in the ionization process; that’s because it is also known as the monobasic type of acid. Hydrochloric acid also acts as a nucleophile in some chemical reactions as it contains a chlorine atom in the compound. It also has some catalytic power in some reactions.

The chemical formula of hydrochloric acid is HCl as it has a hydrogen and chlorine atom in the chemical composition. Hydrochloric acid is a weak acid that is present in gaseous form at room temperature. -7 is the pKa of hydrochloric acid in chemistry. But it has a high pKa value. Hydrochloric acid is the acid that is generally known as a weak reducing agent.

You can easily oxidize compounds by donating protons. The mass formula for hydrochloric acid is 36.5 grams per mole. Hydroxyl groups are absent in the chemical formula of hydrochloric acid. This acid is generally used in salt analysis to find the relative groups of atoms. Hydrochloric acid reacts with the strong base to form the relative salt and water.

Applications

  • Salt purification
  • Regulation of the acidity of the solution.
  • To control the pH of drugs.
  • To control the pH of food.
  • To control the pH of the drinking water.
  • To neutralize waste vapor
  • To neutralize alkaline containing substances.
  • to make glue
  • For whitening products

What is sulfuric acid?

Sulfuric acid is the acid that has the ability to donate two protons in the aqueous solution. It has only two steps in the ionization process because it is also known as the dibasic type of acid. Sulfuric acid also acts as a nucleophile in some chemical reactions as it contains a sulfur atom in the compound.

It also has a more prominent catalytic power in chemical reactions. The chemical formula of sulfuric acid is H 2 SO 4, since it has hydrogen, oxygen and sulfur atoms in the chemical composition. Sulfuric acid is the strong acid and has a low pKa value that is present in liquid form at room temperature.

Sulfuric acid is the acid that is generally known as the strong oxidizing agent. 98 grams per mole refers to the mass formula. It also contains two hydroxyl groups in the chemical formula.

Applications

  • to make chemicals
  • To make HCl, nitric acid, salts.
  • Manufacture dyes, explosives, detergents and medicines.

Key differences

  1. Hydrochloric acid is generally the monobasic acid; on the other hand, sulfuric acid is generally the dibasic acid.
  2. The chemical formula of hydrochloric acid is HCl; on the other hand, the chemical formula of sulfuric acid is H 2 SO 4 .
  3. The hydrochloric acid dissociation process is completed in a single step; on the other hand, the sulfuric acid dissociation process is completed in two steps.
  4. Hydrochloric acid is the weakest type of acid; on the other hand, sulfuric acid is the strongest type of acid.
  5. The pH value of hydrochloric acid is higher than the pH of sulfuric acid while sulfuric acid has a pH little lower than the pH of hydrochloric acid.
  6. The mass formula of hydrochloric acid is 36.5 grams per mole, while the mass formula of sulfuric acid is 98 grams per mole.
  7. Hydrochloric acid is generally the example of monoprotic acid; on the other hand, sulfuric acid is generally the example of a diprotic acid.
  8. There is no hydroxyl group present in the structural formula of hydrochloric acid while two hydroxyl groups are present in the structural formula of sulfuric acid.
  9. The chemical properties of hydrochloric acid are very weak; on the other hand, the chemical properties of sulfuric acid are very strong.
  10. The chemical composition of hydrochloric acid includes hydrogen and chlorine atoms, while the chemical composition of sulfuric acid includes hydrogen, sulfur, and oxygen atoms.
  11. Hydrochloric acid gives one proton to a molecule in solution, while sulfuric acid gives two protons to a molecule in solution.
  12. The physical nature of hydrochloric acid is gaseous; on the other hand, the physical nature of sulfuric acid is liquid.
  13. Hydrochloric acid falls under the category of the weakest reducing agent, while sulfuric acid falls under the category of the strongest oxidizing agent.
  14. In hydrochloric acid, the main nucleophile is the chlorine atom, on the contrary, in sulfuric acid, the main nucleophile is the sulfur atom.
  15. The pKa value of hydrochloric acid is generally larger than the pKa value of sulfuric acid, on the other hand, the pKa value of sulfuric acid is generally smaller than the pKa value of hydrochloric acid.
  16. Hydrochloric acid contains only one hydrogen ion; on the other hand, sulfuric acid contains only two hydrogen ions.
  17. The ability to catalyze the reaction of hydrochloric acid is much lower; on the other hand, the ability to catalyze the reaction of sulfuric acid is very high.
Final Thoughts

The above discussion concludes that both hydrochloric acid and sulfuric acid are types of mineral acids. Hydrochloric acid is an acid that contains one proton, while sulfuric acid is an acid that contains two protons.

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