MadSci Network: Chemistry

Re: What acid will quickly burn through lead or other metals?

Date: Sun Aug 28 11:56:17 2005
Posted By: Luis Sojo, Faculty, Chemistry, Simon Fraser University
Area of science: Chemistry
ID: 1124898855.Ch


Lead can be dissolved with a concentrated solution of strong acids such as nitric or hydrochloric acid. The latter can be acquired in hardware stores and it used to be used in the clearing of pipes, etc. The reaction will proceed a bit slowly since the acid will have to eat through a layer of lead oxide that forms when lead is exposed to the atmosphere. This layer protects the metal form further oxidation.

Moderator's Note: Both concentrated nitric acid and hydrochloric acid are high toxic and corrosive, and should be handled in well-ventilated areas, preferably in a chemical fume hood while wearing appropriate safety gear.

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