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Solution in water of hydrogen chloride (HCl), a gaseous inorganic compound. It is a strong acid, virtually completely dissociated (seedissociation) into hydronium cations (HO+) and chloride anions (Cl), and is corrosive and irritating. The acid reacts with most metals, to produce hydrogen and the metal's chloride, and with oxides, hydroxides, and many salts. It is used extensively in industrial processing of metals and concentrating of some ores; in boiler scale removal, food processing, metal cleaning, and pickling; and as a chemical intermediate, laboratory reagent, and alcohol denaturant (seeethanol). Hydrochloric acid is present in the stomach's gastric juice and is involved in the devlopment of peptic ulcers.
Variants of HYDROCHLORIC ACID
hydrochloric acid or muriatic acid
This entry comes from Encyclopædia Britannica Concise. For the full entry on hydrochloric acid, visit Britannica.com.