Acids are described as corrosive because they do what?

1 Answer
Jul 16, 2016

Acids are described as corrosive because they damage other substances that they contact.


We tend to think of concentrated acids like sulfuric, hydrochloric acids as being corrosive (and they ARE!).

But even weak or very dilute acids such as acid rain are corrosive.

This marble statue in Germany was heavily corroded by acid rain.

A possible reaction was

#"H"_2"SO"_4 + "CaCO"_3 → "CaSO"_4 + "CO"_2 + "H"_2"O"#

Most people are concerned about the corrosive action of acids on flesh — they cause chemical burns on contact.

For example, this victim of a sulfuric acid attack will be scarred for life.

Acids act on living flesh by hydrolyzing the amide bonds in proteins and the ester bonds in lipids.