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Phosphoric acid, also known as orthophosphoric acid, is the most important oxygen acid of phosphorus with the chemical formula H3PO4. Pure form of phosphoric acid is a crystalline solid with a 42.35°C melting point. Its gravity is 1.834 at the temperature of 18°C and soluble in water and alcohol. It is a colourless, syrupy liquid form in less concentrated form. It can also combine with them to form a range of compounds that are also referred to as phosphoric acids.
Phosphoric acid is produced by three commercial methods, including wet process, thermal process and dry kiln process. Among these three methods, wet process is the most common route. The phosphate first reacts with the recycled phosphoric acid from the process and then mixed with sulfuric acid as a leaching agent. Then after the evaporator condensate, the gypsum separates with phosphoric acid and obtains the product acid.
Phosphoric acid is often used as a food additive. It acts as an acidity regulator in foods like jams, cereal bars, processed meats, cheese, etc. In the beverage industry, phosphoric acid is used as an acidulant. It helps keep a check on fungi and bacteria formation.
Used as reaction fertilizer in the soil around a granule acidification is generated that improves the utilization of phosphorus applied and available in the rhizosphere. Due to its nitrogen content (present as ammonia), it is good for crops that require these nutrients in its initial phase.