Sulfonic acid

Sulfonic acid. Highly viscous brown liquid . Its physical and chemical constants make it a product with outstanding performance in all its applications and provide excellent results, properties to be used in both liquid and solid detergents. Due to its linear chain it has very good biodegradability properties .


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  • 1 Composition and information on ingredients
  • 2 Obtaining
  • 3 Hazard identification
    • 1 Inhalation
    • 2 Ingestion
    • 3 Skin
    • 4 Eyes
  • 4 Measures in case of fire
  • 5 Handling and storage
    • 1 Storage and handling temperature
    • 2 Pumping equipment
    • 3 Special precautions
  • 6 Stability and reactivity
  • 7 Ecological information
  • 8 Disposition considerations
  • 9 Sources

Composition and information on ingredients

This product is made up of between 96.5 and 97.0% by sulfonic acid, the rest is made up of humidity up to 0.8%, free alkylbenzene in a maximum of 2% and sulfuric acid in a maximum of 1.5%.


Sulfonation is the formation of a sulfonic acid, that is, a compound that contains the -SO2 OH group in its molecular structure, the most common sulfonating agents are concentrated sulfuric acid, fuming sulfuric acid (oleum), sulfur, chloro sulfonic acid and sulfurous acid, generally obtained by sulfonation of the linear – Alkyl Benzene.

Hazard identification

It is a corrosive material to metals and living tissues. Its corrosivity is similar to that of sulfuric acid in a concentration of 100%.


Inhalation of mists or aerosols can cause respiratory irritation because they have the presence of sulfur oxide gases (SO2 and SO3) that can form H2S which is toxic.


Ingestion can cause severe irritation to the gastrointestinal tract, even if ingested in low amounts. This irritation manifests itself with nausea , vomiting, and abdominal pain .


Contact with the skin produces severe irritation and chemical burns. LABS is corrosive to the skin.


It causes severe eye irritation, both contact with the liquid and exposure to acid vapors. Prolonged eye contact can result in permanent injury.

Fire measures

The product is not flammable but in case of a fire can be a source of emission of toxic gases such as Hydrogen Sulfide H2S, trioxide and sulfur dioxide SO2, if the fire develops in confined spaces should use self – contained breathing equipment.

Handling and storage

Sulfonic acid is as corrosive as concentrated sulfuric acid, corrosivity increases with temperature (especially at temperatures above 40 ° C). When the acid is handled with carbon steel material, the iron that is generated by corrosion affects the quality of the product, for this reason, it is recommended to store in 304 or 316 stainless steel .

Handling and storage temperature

Handling the acid at temperatures between 30 ° C and 40 ° C is recommended to avoid pumping problems that occur at lower temperatures due to high viscosity.

Pumping equipment

It is recommended to use positive displacement pumps whose contact parts are made of stainless steel. This type of pump is recommended due to the high viscosity that the product reaches.

Special precautions

  • It should be stored in open places with good ventilation
  • It must be stored separately from hydroxides and oxidizing agents (chlorates, nitrates, hypochlorites, peroxides) that can enter into contact to avoid contamination.
  • SO2 and SO3 gases can accumulate in storage tanks, personnel who may be in contact should use the necessary protection.
  • The floors must have unevenness and drainage towards accidental collection channels and direct the waters to a treatment pit for neutralization.
  • The containers must be properly labeled and marked.

Stability and reactivity

  • Stability:Sulfonic acid is stable under normal conditions.
  • Reactivity:It is reactive with metals, oxides, carbonates, and carbides. It produces a dangerous reaction with hydroxides.
  • Hazardous decomposition products:Acid normally emits gases from SO2 (Sulfur Dioxide) and SO3 (Sulfur Trioxide) that under some circumstances can be converted to H2S (Hydrogen Sulfuric Acid).
  • Corrosivity:It is as corrosive as concentrated sulfuric acid.

Ecological information

Effects on the environment:

  • Water:The product is soluble in water, large spills can cause damage to aquatic life due to the decrease in pH and the formation of foams in the waters.
  • Air:The decomposition by combustion of sulfonic acid generates corrosive and toxic gases.
  • Soil:Due to its corrosive property, it causes immediate damage to the contact area. It can contaminate the soil and groundwater.

Disposition considerations

The product should not be disposed of without treating the soil or water, regardless of concentration or quantity. The treatment consists of neutralizing it with an alkaline agent, such as lime, caustic soda, sodium carbonate or other alkaline materials, which do not present themselves with subsequent toxicity or disposal problems. It must be ensured that the pH of the neutralization products is in the range of 5-9 units. In the case of using neutralization products such as those mentioned, the neutralization products obtained are sulphonates that must be collected and sent to specialized companies for disposal. The biodegradability of sodium sulfonate is greater than 90%.


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