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Acid availability

Discussion in 'The Lounge' started by GeoffR, Dec 6, 2017.

  1. GeoffR

    GeoffR Well-Known Member

    We have heard quite a lot about acid attacks this year but could someone please enlighten me as to why anyone, outside an industrial process, needs any more than a small quantity of strong acid?

    I have about 1 litre of Sulphuric acid in the garage, left over from the purchase of a dry charged battery about 20 years ago and about 1/2 a 1litre bottle of Hydrochloric acid used, very occasionally for cleaning some glassware. I haven't seen dry charged batteries for sale for many years and I could as easily manage with buying 50ml of Hydrochloric acid when required instead of keeping a larger quantity.

    So then what else might I need any acids for? I am not talking about the small quantities in toilet cleaner here but 500ml or larger bottles of 35% acids.
  2. PeteRob

    PeteRob Well-Known Member

    I think drain cleaners (unblockers) are the main consumer source. They aren't really necessary but having manually unblocked a few external U-bends I can see the attraction of pouring some liquid down the hole and coming back later to find the blockage gone.
  3. RogerMac

    RogerMac Well-Known Member

    I do not know what concentrations are involved with Mr Muscle drain cleaner but the list of ingredients certainly frightened me
  4. frank1

    frank1 Well-Known Member

    It's reported that a lot of the cowardly attacks on people are as a result of cleaning products readily available in all shops. Caustic soda is possibly the ingredient that causes the burning. It is scary to think that acids are easily available but hopefully they become more restricted with good legislation.
  5. dream_police

    dream_police Well-Known Member

    I had to clear some drains in my house in Spain. I got a bottle of something that I think roughly translated to fire water. It cost a euro, and I was amazed just how strong it was. It was an outside drain blocked with god knows what and within a short space of time it had gone. It had the consistency of water, not gloopy stuff. I really hope this trend of acid attacks doesn't spread over there.
  6. Andrew Flannigan

    Andrew Flannigan Well-Known Member

    It seems to me that any violent attack should result in a sentence that prevents the assailant repeating it. I simply can't understand how a prison system that provides association with other criminals plus entertainment and excercise facilities is going to alter the behaviour of violent criminals in any meaningful way.
  7. Dorset_Mike

    Dorset_Mike Grumpy Old Fart

    Bring back the birch!
  8. Roger_Provins

    Roger_Provins Well-Known Member

    Maybe the UK courts need to have available meaningful prison sentences such as they have in the US. - 30, 40, 60 even 100 years with no possibility of parole.
  9. dream_police

    dream_police Well-Known Member

    Give them a nice bath when they get into prison. An acid bath.:)
  10. Gezza

    Gezza Well-Known Member

    One shot is 91% sulphuric acid.... scary stuff considering you can get it delivered from amazon or pop into your local screwfix and pick it up.
  11. Learning

    Learning Ethelred the Ill-Named

    There are basically only two sentences that have the desired effect. One is too expensive and the other is not avai;able to our courts.
    Knee jerk reaction. We are more civilised than that. Any criminal being executed should at least be killed with as much care for welfare as an animal at a slaughterhouse.
  12. Andrew Flannigan

    Andrew Flannigan Well-Known Member

    Excuse my hollow laugh. If we were civilised we would by now have eliminated sink estates and inner city poverty traps instead of permitting the huge gap of wealth between rich and poor that produces this type of criminal.
  13. LesleySM

    LesleySM Well-Known Member

    I regret to say (especially as I know one of the comments was ,made by a retired police officer) that my first thought on seeing the heading was "Dunno haven't been able to score any for years "
  14. LesleySM

    LesleySM Well-Known Member

    Many years ago our kitchen sink got badly blocked and with their usual standard of common sense the landlord fitted a shelf just under the sink so you can't unscrew the S bend to clear it. A friend who was a professional cleaner said he'd sort it He brought a gallon container in, told us it might be a good idea not to let the cats in the kitchen for a few hours then poured the contents of the gallon container down the plug hole causing some pretty nasty smelling smoke then counted to ten quickly and turned on the cold water tap full blast!

    Apparently it was neat Hydrochloric acid- it cleared the blockage and the next morning given the piping was plastic we were quite surprised to find they were still there!
  15. Footloose

    Footloose Well-Known Member

    Surely, caustic soda, (also called Lye or Sodium Hydroxide) is an alkaline, not an acid? Very corrosive, used by the Mafia, drug barons and the infamous murderess nicknamed the 'Soap-Maker of Correggio' who disposed of her bodies by dissolving them with this, and then converted the resulting liquid into soap, or .... tea-cakes!
  16. willie45

    willie45 Well-Known Member

    Now that's an argument for an awful lot of bad stuff, Andrew.
    Roger Hicks likes this.
  17. GeoffR

    GeoffR Well-Known Member

    Indeed Sodium Hydroxide, NaOH, is alkaline and can be obtained as crystals, again I would be happy to buy only the quantity required instead of keeping a quantity on hand.

    Hydrochloric acid does not have any effect on Acrylonitrile butadiene styrene (ABS) the plastic used for waste pipes, I can't say the same for the fittings in the sink which are probably chrome plated brass and readily attached by Hydrochloric acid.

    On a slightly different note, acid is normally sold as a percentage concentration, 100% HCl is a gas so normally sold as a solution, what I have is 35% but what is used in toilet cleaner is around 9%, concentration not stated. When I clean glassware I further dilute the acid to between 5% and 10%
  18. Andrew Flannigan

    Andrew Flannigan Well-Known Member

    No. It's an argument for preventing a lot of bad stuff.
  19. DaveS

    DaveS Well-Known Member

    Sodium hydroxide is more dangerous to soft tissue than most* acids as it readily hydrolyses protein. Eyes are especialy vulnerable as the cornea is protien and easily damaged.

    *Hydrofluoric is very dangerous, and even in research labs has restricted access.
  20. Petrochemist

    Petrochemist Well-Known Member

    Neat hydrochloric acid is a gas. The concentrated form is usually 35%, and will not affect most plastics - in time it will eat through most metals quite effectively though.

    When we need something powerful we mix it with concentrated nitric to give 'Aqua regia' one of the few acids that will dissolve gold.

    Sorry I see GeoffR had already pointed this out :p

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