Phosphoric acid (also known as orthophosphoric acid or phosphoric (V) acid) is a weak acid with the chemical formula H3PO4. Orthophosphoric acid refers to phosphoric acid, which is the IUPAC name for this compound. The prefix ortho- is used to distinguish the acid from related phosphoric acids, called polyphosphoric acids. Orthophosphoric acid is a non-toxic acid, which, when pure, is a solid at room temperature and pressure.
Phosphoric acid, also called orthophosphoric acid, (H3PO4), the most important oxygen acid of phosphorus, used to make phosphate salts for fertilizers. It is also used in dental cements, in the preparation of albumin derivatives, and in the sugar and textile industries. It serves as an acidic, fruitlike flavouring in food products.
Phosphorus is an essential plant nutrient and is taken up by plant roots, usually as the dihydrogen phosphate ion, H2PO4-, derived from phosphoric acid, H3PO4. The manufacture of fertilizers that are used to rectify phosphorus deficiencies in soils depends on the availability of supplies of phosphoric acid.
Phosphoric acid is an inorganic mineral acid and can be referred to as phosphoric (V) acid or orthophosphoric acid. Orthophosphoric acid molecules combine with themselves to form various compounds which are termed as phosphoric acids. Phosphoric acid is largest in terms of production and consumption value and follows sulfuric acid in terms of volume.
Phosphoric acid can be produced by two commercial methods: wet process and thermal process. Wet process phosphoric acid is used in fertilizer production. Thermal process phosphoric acid is of higher purity and it is used in the manufacture of high-grade chemicals, pharmaceuticals, detergents, food products, beverages, and other non-fertilizer products.
Phosphoric acid (H3PO4) is the leading inorganic acid produced and consumed in terms of production value and it is the second largest in terms of volume after sulfuric acid. By far its greatest use is in the manufacture of phosphate chemicals consumed primarily as carriers of phosphorus values in fertilizers. Use in the production of animal feeds is of secondary importance. Phosphoric acid is also used in the manufacture of phosphate chemicals for use in water treatment and detergent builders, dentifrices, fire control chemicals, and a host of smaller markets.