plating, anodizing, & finishing Q&As since 1989
Looking for small quantities of pure H2SO4
I need to buy a small amount of pure concentrated H2SO4. I never bought chemicals before and don't know where to look. Maybe someone can point me?
- Mont Vernon, New Hampshire
You did not specify the purity (there are many grades and strengths) or quantity. Most people would get this from a Laboratory supply house. Most of these are very reluctant to sell to private individuals since they have more than reasonable right to believe that it will not be disposed of properly and then the supply house is eventually liable. Next is safety, battery acid [affil link] is used by lots and lots of non trained people, because it is not instantly serious if you get some on you. Very pure Sulfuric Acid will burn most peoples skin in less than 5 seconds. There are just too many ---- lawsuits by people that are just plain careless. Case and point, the old lady that spilled a cup of coffee from McDonalds on her privates and burned them. McDonalds did not spill it, the cup did not fail, it was a careless individual, yet she sued and won thousands.
Battery acid is like a large firecracker as very pure sulfuric acid is to a small stick of dynamite.
Please do not feel picked upon if no one will sell to you.James Watts
- Navarre, Florida
James is correct, It is bad stuff but that just means you have to be REAL careful. You MUST wear safety glasses (goggles [on eBay or Amazon affil links]) and ALSO a face shield [affil link] when working with this stuff. Being burned in 5 seconds is one thing... going blind in five seconds is another.Bob Coyle
- Santa Cruz Ca
When I was buying conc. H2SO4 the smallest quantity I could buy was 10 L barrel from a local plating supplier. I'm not sure if I was lucky or not to find a place that would sell it to me as it was the first and closest place I went to. I only needed 4 liters but because it was so cheap (A$1.20/liter) it didn't matter. I've already got what I need so the rest is just sitting there. I also brought a 25 Kg bag on soda ash from chemical supplier so I could neutralize it as I finish with it. I suppose it depends on the area you live. AFAIK in Australia conc. H2SO4 is not a protected chemical. Just ring as many places as you can, such as plating suppliers, and raw chemical suppliers. Just make sure you can tell them a good reason for using it (e.g for anodizing ).
I have seen how quickly this stuff turns biological mass into charcoal. I do not plan on ever letting get on my skin. Get all the proper clothing, goggles (preferably a face mask), rubber gloves [on eBay or Amazon affil links], ect from a industrial safety supplier or a plating supplier may even help with this. And ALWAYS handle next to a fresh water supply for immediate flushing of the skin in case of a emergency. I learned getting the acid was the simplest part, getting all the other equipment just to use it was much more difficult, e.g finding suitable storage containers, safety clothing, measuring flasks, pH meter and building cabinets to store it.
- Melbourne, Australia
Safety is important. Thus Caution must be exercised. Fisher Scientific, VWR, Aldrich chemical and etc will sell all sorts of grade and purity of anything you want. These companies are designed to sell small quantities, generally, their customers include many university chemical labs.
Good Luck.tinker law
- severn, Maryland
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