Why is acid always added to water, and not the reverse?


A large amount of heat is released when strong acids are mixed with water. Adding more acid releases more heat. If you add water to acid, you form an extremely concentrated solution of acid initially. So much heat is released that the solution may boil very violently, splashing concentrated acid out of the container! If you add acid to water, the solution that forms is very dilute and the small amount of heat released is not enough to vaporize and spatter it. So Always Add Acid to water, and never the reverse.

Author: Fred Senese senese@antoine.frostburg.edu



General Chemistry Online! Why is acid always added to water, and not the reverse?

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Last Revised 08/17/15.URL: http://antoine.frostburg.edu/chem/senese/101/safety/faq/print-always-add-acid.shtml