Sulphuric acid is a strong acid (all the hydrogen dissociates). It is also the strong acid that most GCSE students have to study the reactions of.

Properties[edit | edit source]

Test for H2SO4[edit | edit source]

Add few drops dilute HCl, then BaCl. White precipitate formed if sulphate ions present (barium sulphate is a white precipitate)

Reactions of H2SO4[edit | edit source]

  • Reaction with metals
    • Reacts with magnesium fast (exothermic reaction, effervescence, colourless gas given off, all dissolves, heating needed)
    • Reacts with zinc quite vigorously (slightly exothermic, some effervescence, colourless gas given off, not all dissolves)
    • Does not react with copper (copper too low on reactivity series)
  • Reaction with metal oxides
    • Reacts with zinc oxide (some effervescence, all dissolves, heating needed)
    • Reacts with copper oxide (gradually dissolved, heating required)
  • Reaction with carbonates
    • Reacts vigorously with magnesium carbonate (fizzed straight away, lots of bubbles, milky solution left)
    • Reacts with copper carbonate quite fast (slowly dissolves, bubbles, fizzing)
  • Colour in indicator (always acidic colour - see indicator


Manufacture of H2SO4[edit | edit source]

The Contact Process

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