Uses and hazards of sulfuric acid

The majority of sulfuric acid that is produced is used to make fertilisers. This is often achieved by reacting the sulfuric acid with ammonia, or ammonium hydroxide solution, to make ammonium sulfate, (NH4)2SO4.

ammonia + sulfuric acid → ammonium sulfate

ammonium hydroxide + sulfuric acid → ammonium sulfate + water

Sulfuric acid is also used in the production of:

  • detergents
  • paints
  • dyes
  • plastics
  • artificial fibres

Sulfur is rarely found pure in the ground. It is an impurity which is removed from fossil fuels because it causes acid rain when fossil fuels are burned.