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Spirit of Vitriol, Vitriol and Oil of Vitriol are all names for Sulphuric Acid or Sulfuric Acid. Spirits of Vitriol derives its name from the Latin word 'vitreus' which means 'glass' or 'glassy'. This was the description used to convey the appearance of the hydrated Sulphate salts when Sulphuric Acid was first produced.
The consumption of Spirit of Vitriol largely depends on the amount of industrialisation in a country - the more industrialised the country, the greater will be their usage of Spirit of Vitriol. Industrially under-developed countries will have a very small usage of Spirit of Vitriol, whilst developed ones will use huge amounts. World-wide, the production of Spirit of Vitriol can be measured in millions of tonnes annually.
Spirit of Vitriol is a strong mineral acid with many uses in industry. For example, it is used in the manufacture of Phosphate fertilizers, in the automotive industry, in steel-making as a rust and scale remover and in the manufacture of paper. In diluted form, Spirit of Vitriol is used as Battery Acid.
Spirit of Vitriol is classified as extremely Corrosive and great care must be taken when handling or working with Spirit of Vitriol. Severe eye and skin damage can occur from contact with the material whilst ingestion will cause severe burns to the throat, mouth and oesophagus. Inhalation of Spirit of Vitriol can cause damage to the nose and lungs. Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) must always be worbn when working with the product.
Spirit of Vitriol was first discovered as long ago as the 8th Century and was an extremely important part of early alchemy as it does not react with gold. By the mid-1800's Spirit of Vitriol was being produced with the 'contact method' which is described in detail on the Sulphuric Acid Manufacture page of this website.
Packaging, labelling and transport information for Spirit of Vitriol can be found on pages of this wesbite entitled Sulphuric Acid Packaging, Sulphuric Acid Labelling and Transporting Sulphuric Acid. Legislation applies to all areas of packaging, labelling and transportation of Spirit of Vitriol and adherence to current regulations is essential.
http://www.sulphuric-acid.co.uk/spirit-of-vitriol | Saved Friday, November 18th, 2011 - 6:11 AM