How can we neutralise sulphuric acid?

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Offline kimsejeong

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How can we neutralise sulphuric acid?
« on: 18/03/2017 11:37:46 »
First, I am a science beginner.

I know that sulphuric acid a very strong acid.

If, tons of sulphuric acid is spilt into a lake, then I guess the lake would be acidified..

Then, how can I neutralise the sulphuric acid in water?

(Sorry, I am not sure that I used proper scientific words or not...)
« Last Edit: 18/03/2017 14:55:00 by chris »

Offline Bored chemist

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Re: How can we neutralize sulfuric acid?
« Reply #1 on: 18/03/2017 12:28:00 »
Add a few tons of limestone.
- of course, if the lake is in a limestone area the water won't stay acid for long- it will react.
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Offline syhprum

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Re: How can we neutralise sulphuric acid?
« Reply #2 on: 18/03/2017 20:55:53 »
How toxic is sulphuric acid ? To what degree should it be diluted so that I could drink a few liters a day
syhprum

Offline Bored chemist

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Re: How can we neutralise sulphuric acid?
« Reply #3 on: 18/03/2017 22:05:24 »
Sulphuric acid dissociates in water to form sulphate ions and hydrogen ions.
The sulphate ions are practically harmless in this context- the worst they would do is upset your stomach a bit.
So the question is how acidic can drinking water be and not be toxic.
Well, rainwater is naturally slightly acidic, it contains about 10 g of hydrogen ions per litre.
You would get that from about 500 g of sulphuric acid per litre.

This site
[ edit: dratted url won't copy]
Tells me there's 172 mg of phosphorus in a litre of cola.
That's about 1/ 180 moles and it will carry 3 times that number of hydrogen ions with it.
Something like 0.017 grams of hydrogen per litre equivalent to  about 50 times that much sulphuric acid.

Nearly a gram of sulphuric acid per litre.

However, even drinking cola type drinks is associated with a significant risk of damage to your teeth, so you probably want to keep the concentration well below that.

The sensible answer is, of course, as low as you can manage.
« Last Edit: 19/03/2017 16:30:05 by Bored chemist »
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Offline Kryptid

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Re: How can we neutralise sulphuric acid?
« Reply #4 on: 19/03/2017 02:32:57 »
Any kind of base will work so long as you add enough of it.
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Offline Bored chemist

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Re: How can we neutralise sulphuric acid?
« Reply #5 on: 19/03/2017 09:46:14 »
Using calcium carbonate has the advantages that
it's cheap
An excess of it isn't likely to do much harm because it's not soluble
The by-product, calcium sulphate, is also not very soluble so it's unlikely to do much harm.

I'd love to know why the OP asked this.
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Online evan_au

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Re: How can we neutralise sulphuric acid?
« Reply #6 on: 19/03/2017 10:55:47 »
Quote
To what degree should it be diluted so that I could drink a few liters a day
Some doctors suggest drinking 2 liters of water per day.
I suggest that you drink the 2l of water, and leave out the sulphuric acid.

After all, your stomach naturally produces hydrochloric acid to help with digesting food. You don't need any more acid than this (Ok, maybe a bit of abscorbic acid to provide your tiny vitamin C intake).

See: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gastric_acid

Offline Bored chemist

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Re: How can we neutralise sulphuric acid?
« Reply #7 on: 19/03/2017 16:31:39 »
Incidentally, if you find yourself in some situation where the only "drinking" water available contains significant sulphuric acid, you would be better off filtering it through crushed limestone before drinking it.
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