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Record Information
Creation Date2014-10-15 22:10:18 UTC
Update Date2016-11-09 01:09:15 UTC
Accession NumberCHEM003954
Common NameSulfuric acid
ClassSmall Molecule
DescriptionSulfuric acid is a highly corrosive strong mineral acid with the molecular formula H2SO4. It is a pungent-ethereal, colorless to slightly yellow viscous liquid which is soluble in water at all concentrations. Sometimes, it is dyed dark brown during production to alert people to its hazards. The historical name of this acid is oil of vitriol. Concentrated sulfuric acid is 98% pure and shows different properties depending upon its concentration. For instance battery acid is 30% sulfuric acid. Because the hydration reaction of sulfuric acid is highly exothermic, dilution should always be performed by adding the acid to the water rather than the water to the acid. Pure sulfuric acid is not encountered naturally on Earth in its anhydrous form, due to its great affinity for water. Dilute sulfuric acid is a constituent of acid rain, which is formed by atmospheric oxidation of sulfur dioxide in the presence of water – i.e., oxidation of sulfurous acid. Sulfur dioxide is the main byproduct produced when sulfur-containing fuels such as coal or oil are burned. Most sulfuric acid (~60%) is consumed for fertilizers, particularly superphosphates, ammonium phosphate and ammonium sulfates. About 20% is used in chemical industry for production of detergents, synthetic resins, dyestuffs, pharmaceuticals, petroleum catalysts, insecticides and antifreeze, as well as in various processes such as oil well acidicizing, aluminium reduction, paper sizing, water treatment.
Contaminant Sources
  • Clean Air Act Chemicals
  • EAFUS Chemicals
  • FooDB Chemicals
  • HPV EPA Chemicals
  • IARC Carcinogens General
  • OECD HPV Chemicals
  • STOFF IDENT Compounds
  • T3DB toxins
  • ToxCast & Tox21 Chemicals
Contaminant Type
  • Industrial/Workplace Toxin
  • Inorganic Compound
  • Metabolite
  • Natural Compound
  • Non-Metal
Chemical Structure
Acide sulfuriqueChEBI
Acido sulfuricoChEBI
Acidum sulfuricumChEBI
Sulphuric acidChEBI
Sulfuric acidKegg
Acide sulphuriqueGenerator
Acido sulphuricoGenerator
Acidum sulphuricumGenerator
Chemical FormulaH2O4S
Average Molecular Mass98.078 g/mol
Monoisotopic Mass97.967 g/mol
CAS Registry Number7664-93-9
IUPAC Namesulfuric acid
Traditional Namesulfuric acid
InChI IdentifierInChI=1S/H2O4S/c1-5(2,3)4/h(H2,1,2,3,4)
Chemical Taxonomy
Description belongs to the class of inorganic compounds known as non-metal sulfates. These are inorganic non-metallic compounds containing a sulfate as its largest oxoanion.
KingdomInorganic compounds
Super ClassHomogeneous non-metal compounds
ClassNon-metal oxoanionic compounds
Sub ClassNon-metal sulfates
Direct ParentNon-metal sulfates
Alternative Parents
  • Non-metal sulfate
  • Sulfuric acid
  • Inorganic oxide
Molecular FrameworkNot Available
External Descriptors
Biological Properties
StatusDetected and Not Quantified
Cellular Locations
  • Cell surface
  • Cytosol
  • Extracellular
Biofluid LocationsNot Available
Tissue LocationsNot Available
PhenothiazinesNot AvailableNot Available
PenicillinsNot AvailableNot Available
EicosanoidsNot AvailableNot Available
Cell cycleNot Availablemap04110
ApplicationsNot Available
Biological RolesNot Available
Chemical RolesNot Available
Physical Properties
AppearanceClear, colorless, odorless liquid. Sometimes, it is dyed dark brown during production to alert people to its hazards.
Experimental Properties
Melting Point10 °C
Boiling Point337 °C
Predicted Properties
pKa (Strongest Acidic)-3ChemAxon
Physiological Charge-2ChemAxon
Hydrogen Acceptor Count4ChemAxon
Hydrogen Donor Count2ChemAxon
Polar Surface Area74.6 ŲChemAxon
Rotatable Bond Count0ChemAxon
Refractivity13.77 m³·mol⁻¹ChemAxon
Polarizability6.51 ųChemAxon
Number of Rings0ChemAxon
Rule of FiveYesChemAxon
Ghose FilterYesChemAxon
Veber's RuleYesChemAxon
MDDR-like RuleYesChemAxon
Spectrum TypeDescriptionSplash Key
GC-MSGC-MS Spectrum - GC-MS (2 TMS)splash10-004i-1890000000-89f0078b967c00a9a9edView in MoNA
GC-MSGC-MS Spectrum - GC-EI-TOFsplash10-0002-0900000000-43f1b52f911b4e214ac8View in MoNA
LC-MS/MSLC-MS/MS Spectrum - Linear Ion Trap , negativesplash10-03l0-0000003590-05f671599375cad4490eView in MoNA
LC-MS/MSLC-MS/MS Spectrum - Linear Ion Trap , negativesplash10-01q9-0094000000-638107eff1cc6b910ae4View in MoNA
LC-MS/MSLC-MS/MS Spectrum - Linear Ion Trap , negativesplash10-0udi-0010930000-ef387cb422577990b211View in MoNA
LC-MS/MSLC-MS/MS Spectrum - Linear Ion Trap , negativesplash10-0udi-0010930000-ce19e55452eca838abd0View in MoNA
LC-MS/MSLC-MS/MS Spectrum - Linear Ion Trap , positivesplash10-004i-0000000090-2a1bc5a702132cc43db4View in MoNA
LC-MS/MSLC-MS/MS Spectrum - Linear Ion Trap , positivesplash10-0uxr-0000000429-5a2d4fe6a3661daf3d2fView in MoNA
LC-MS/MSLC-MS/MS Spectrum - Linear Ion Trap , positivesplash10-03di-0000000090-1ce41ca8d23b682cdc60View in MoNA
LC-MS/MSLC-MS/MS Spectrum - Linear Ion Trap , positivesplash10-001i-0000091000-4291e93a03097c9e6a8dView in MoNA
LC-MS/MSLC-MS/MS Spectrum - Linear Ion Trap , positivesplash10-001i-0000090000-f2f5721c575841dbe41cView in MoNA
LC-MS/MSLC-MS/MS Spectrum - Linear Ion Trap , positivesplash10-00di-0032980000-5028b995fe7cea85abe4View in MoNA
LC-MS/MSLC-MS/MS Spectrum - Linear Ion Trap , positivesplash10-0fk9-0022790000-a58b313e3b16cc52d2c9View in MoNA
LC-MS/MSLC-MS/MS Spectrum - Linear Ion Trap , positivesplash10-001u-0024792000-6f97ddc5564176d44e95View in MoNA
LC-MS/MSLC-MS/MS Spectrum - Linear Ion Trap , positivesplash10-053u-0034791000-7509a00499854c6624d6View in MoNA
Predicted LC-MS/MSPredicted LC-MS/MS Spectrum - 10V, Positivesplash10-0002-9000000000-5d2aa2f6bf0f4eb4ec93View in MoNA
Predicted LC-MS/MSPredicted LC-MS/MS Spectrum - 20V, Positivesplash10-0002-9000000000-833643e7253228fece13View in MoNA
Predicted LC-MS/MSPredicted LC-MS/MS Spectrum - 40V, Positivesplash10-000t-9000000000-ccb25da888fc7bae0149View in MoNA
Predicted LC-MS/MSPredicted LC-MS/MS Spectrum - 10V, Negativesplash10-0002-9000000000-7dcf31e8c0a2e5fb7ac0View in MoNA
Predicted LC-MS/MSPredicted LC-MS/MS Spectrum - 20V, Negativesplash10-0002-9000000000-f2946b7bd5a78d7e9ef8View in MoNA
Predicted LC-MS/MSPredicted LC-MS/MS Spectrum - 40V, Negativesplash10-0002-9000000000-f2946b7bd5a78d7e9ef8View in MoNA
Toxicity Profile
Route of ExposureInhalation; Ingestion; Dermal; Eyes
Mechanism of ToxicityMany strong acids cause tissue burns through the denaturation of proteins and partial hydrolysis of proteins. Most proteins denature at pH values of less than 3-4. The large-scale denaturation of proteins, de-esterification of lipids and subsequent desiccation of tissues leads to chemical burns. Symptoms include itching, bleaching or darkening of skin or tissues, blistering and burning sensations. More specifically, sulfuric acid readily decomposes proteins and lipids through amide hydrolysis and ester hydrolysis upon contact with living tissues. In addition, it exhibits a strong dehydrating property on carbohydrates, liberating extra heat and causing secondary thermal burns. The strong oxidizing property may also extend its corrosiveness on the tissue. Because of such reasons, damage posed by sulfuric acid is potentially more severe than that caused by other comparable strong acids, such as hydrochloric acid and nitric acid.
MetabolismNot Available
Toxicity ValuesLD50: 2140 mg/kg (Oral, rat); LC50: 25 mg/m3 (Inhalation, rat)
Lethal DoseNot Available
Carcinogenicity (IARC Classification)Occupational exposures to strong inorganic acid mists containing sulfuric acid are carcinogenic to humans (Group 1). (1)
Uses/SourcesSulfuric acid is found naturally in acid rain or rainwater near industrial sites. Most sulfuric acid (~60%) is consumed for fertilizers, particularly superphosphates, ammonium phosphate and ammonium sulfates. About 20% is used in chemical industry for production of detergents, synthetic resins, dyestuffs, pharmaceuticals, petroleum catalysts, insecticides and antifreeze, as well as in various processes such as oil well acidicizing, aluminium reduction, paper sizing, water treatment.
Minimum Risk LevelThe limit of exposure of sulfuric acid is fixed at 1 mg/m3.
Health EffectsSulfuric acid at a high concentration can cause very serious damage upon contact, as it not only causes chemical burns via hydrolysis, but also secondary thermal burns via dehydration. It burns the cornea and can lead to permanent blindness if splashed onto eyes. Accordingly, it rapidly attacks the cornea and can induce permanent blindness if splashed onto eyes. If ingested, it damages internal organs irreversibly and may even be fatal. Inhalation of sulfuric acid spray mist may produce severe irritation of respiratory tract, characterized by coughing, choking, or shortness of breath. Sulfuric acid is also a known carcinogen. Sulfuric acid may be toxic to kidneys, lungs, heart, cardiovascular system, upper respiratory tract, eyes and teeth.
SymptomsSkin contact can cause redness, pain, blisters and severe skin burns. Sulfuric acid may cause severe burns to the eye and permanent eye damage. Severe and rapid corrosive burns of the mouth, gullet and gastrointestinal tract will result if sulfuric acid is swallowed. Symptoms include burning, choking, nausea, vomiting and severe pain.
TreatmentThe mainstay of treatment of any acid burn is copious irrigation with large amounts of tap water. To be most effective, treatment should be started immediately after exposure, preferably before arrival in the emergency department. Remove any contaminated clothing. Do not attempt to neutralize the burn with weak reciprocal chemicals (i.e. alkali for acid burns), because the heat generated from the chemical reaction may cause severe thermal injury.
Not Available
DrugBank IDDB11309
FooDB IDFDB013392
Phenol Explorer IDNot Available
KNApSAcK IDC00007530
BiGG ID33697
BioCyc IDNH42SO4
PDB IDNot Available
Wikipedia LinkSulfuric_acid
Chemspider ID1086
ChEBI ID26836
PubChem Compound ID1117
Kegg Compound IDC00059
Synthesis ReferenceNot Available
MSDSNot Available
General References
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