Understanding Corrosion in Water Pipelines: A Guide for Pipeline Designers


Mineral Acidity

Last updated: April 15, 2019

What Does Mineral Acidity Mean?

Mineral acidity refers to the strength of mineral acids. Acidity is the ability of water to neutralize bases. A mineral acid is any inorganic acid such as:

  • Hydrochloric acid
  • Nitric acid
  • Sulfuric acid
  • Phosphoric acid
  • Boric acid
  • Hydrofluoric acid

Mineral acidity has a pH below 4.

If water contains mineral acidity, it has an unpleasant taste and is not consumable. Industrial waste is the source of mineral acidity, which needs neutralization before discharge. It is also corrosive.

Mineral acid is also known as strong acid due to its low pH.


Corrosionpedia Explains Mineral Acidity

The strength of an acid refers to its ability or tendency to lose a proton (H+). A mineral acid or strong acid is one that completely ionizes (dissociates) in a solution. In aqueous solution each of these essentially ionizes 100%. All mineral acids form hydrogen ions and conjugate base ions when dissolved in water. Therefore, mineral acidity refers to the strength of acids which completely ionize in water.

Since mineral acidity has a low pH, low-pH acid waters clearly accelerate corrosion by providing a plentiful supply of hydrogen ions. Even more acidity is sometimes encountered in acid mine waters, or in those contaminated with industrial wastes. Mineral acidity cause leaching of chemicals (aluminum ) from soil. Mineral acidity data can be used for:

  • Corrosion control
  • Softening of water
  • Industrial waste (mineral acidity must be neutralized before discharge)

Mineral acidity is the strength of mineral acids. Mineral acids range from acids of great strength (such as sulfuric acid) to very weak (boric acid). Mineral acids tend to be very soluble in water and insoluble in organic solvents.

Mineral acids are used directly for their corrosive properties. For example, a dilute solution of hydrochloric acid is used for removing the deposits from the inside of boilers, with precautions taken to prevent the corrosion of the boiler by the acid.

Corrosion behavior varies with the strength of mineral acidity. For example, dissolution of aluminum was found to be fast in hydrochloric acid; while mild steel has high corrosion rate in sulfuric acid. With the increase in acid concentration (strength), corrosion rate also increases.



Strong Acid

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