How to Clean Sulfuric Acid Tanks


Sulfuric acid is the most-produced chemical by the United States by volume. Sulfuric acid removes hydrogen and water from many materials. It can melt off your skin within a few seconds. Extreme caution must be used when cleaning sulfuric acid tanks. While it is a dangerous process, sulfuric acid tanks must be cleaned to maintain their security. The tanks are made from carbon steel, which does not react to the acid.

Things You'll Need

  • Ammonia solution .166 mol/L
  • High-pressure spray nozzle
  • Commercial liquid tank
  • Litmus paper
  • Fill a commercial liquid tank with two parts of ammonia solution and three parts distilled water.

  • Spray the interior surface of the sulfuric acid tank.

  • Let the ammonia solution soak for two hours. The ammonia solution neutralizes the pH of the sulfuric acid.

  • Test the pH of the sulfuric acid tank. Wipe a piece of litmus paper on the side of the tank. Litmus paper turns blue when contacted with acid, and turns red when contacted with a base.

  • Repeat Step 2 and 3 until the litmus paper does not react.

  • Drain the excess solution from the sulfuric acid tank. Leave the tank open to dry.

Tips & Warnings

  • Sulfuric acid is highly corrosive. You must wear protective clothing, goggles, mask and gloves.

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