Hydrochloric acid

Hydrochloric acid is manufactured in two specifications. Food grade hydrochloric acid is used to make ingredients and additives. Industrial grade hydrochloric acid is used in metal pickling, petroleum refining, manufacturing pigments, dyes and chemicals, as well as water treatment.

Industrial applications

Dyes, pigments and paints

Hydrochloric acid is used to manufacture various pigments and dyes.

Food

Hydrochloric acid is mainly used in the production of high fructose corn syrup (HFCS). HFCS is found in soft drinks, which accounts for 70-75 per cent of the demand. Hydrochloric acid is also used in other food processing applications including the production of hydrolysed vegetable protein and soy sauce. It helps produce artificial sweeteners and citric acid.

Home and personal care

Hydrochloric acid is used in the pre-treatment and extraction of gelatine.

Leather

The leather industry uses hydrochloric acid for de-liming, tanning and dying of hides.

Petroleum products

Hydrochloric acid is used to remove rust, scale and undesirable carbonate deposits in oil wells. This encourages the flow of crude oil or gas to the well. The various hydro-treating processes in a refinery include hydrodesulphurisation, hydroisomerisation, dearomatization and hydrocracking.

Steel

One of the main uses for hydrochloric acid is the pickling of carbon, alloy and stainless steels. It is also used in aluminium etching, metal prefixing for galvanising and soldering, and metal cleaning.

Water purification

Hydrochloric acid works as an effective neutralisation agent for alkaline (high pH) effluent. It also helps in the regeneration of cationic resin bed.