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Sulfuric Acid
Sulfuric Acid Prices | Historical and Current
Sulfuric Acid
Sulfuric Acid
Sulfuric Acid
H2SO4

About Sulfuric Acid. Sulfuric Acid (a.k.a. H2SO4) is an inorganic compound, in the acid class. It is a colorless to slightly yellow, odorless, and viscous liquid, soluble in water and alcohol, used in many applications. Approximately 50% of the produced sulfuric acid is used in the fertilizer industry. Sulfuric Acid figures among the most important chemicals globally, in 2012 about 230 million tonnes of the commodity produced, with continuing growth in worldwide production been expected.

On commercial scale, this chemical commodity is manufactured essentially by the Contact Process, which involves the catalytic oxidation of sulfur dioxide (SO2), the absorption of the resulting sulfur trioxide (SO3) in Sulfuric Acid and dilution with water. This process has been greatly improved over the past century, mainly to increase sulfur dioxide conversion efficiency (lowering emissions). Nowadays, modern sulfuric acid plants are primarily based on the so-called Double Absorption, an evolution of the Contact Process that incorporates a preliminary SO3 absorption step ahead of the final catalytic oxidation.

Sulfuric acid can be manufactured from several sulfur-bearing raw materials, being elemental sulfur, spent sulfuric acid, and hydrogen sulfide the main ones. It is also widely produced as a by-product of nonferrous metal smelting (e.g. sulfide ores of copper, lead, molybdenum, zinc, or others). It is worth mentioning that, when manufactured from elemental sulfur or pyrite, Sulfuric Acid is a primary product and, consequently, its level of production is naturally sensitive to market conditions. On the other hand, the Sulfuric Acid manufactured from other sulfur-containing raw materials is a secondary product, in such a way that its production is dictated by the primary product market conditions. In fact, such secondary Sulfuric Acid - so-called fatal acid – is mainly produced as a means of disposing of waste from another processes, typically nonferrous metal smelters processing sulfide ores.

Sulfuric Acid Handling. Sulfuric Acid should be kept away from water and moisture, as a highly exothermic reaction would occur, particularly at high acid concentrations. It is, at lower concentrations (30-70%), non-oxidizing and attacks the steel rapidly, particularly at elevated temperatures. High temperatures will cause an expansion of the volume, presenting a leakage risk. Temperature, concentration, and volumes must be carefully chosen to ensure a secure storage or transportation. Steel tank cars, often lined to minimize iron contamination, are usually employed for high concentrations of sulfuric acid. Bottom outlets or valves are not allowed, nor are internal steam coils. Tank contents must be unloaded via standpipe. Using air pressure to unload is not recommended for safety reasons.

Sulfuric Acid Production. Raw materials and the respective production processes employed in the manufacturing of Sulfuric Acid are listed below.

  • Oleum (hydration),
  • Coke oven gas (moist gas catalysis process),
  • Sulfur dioxide, raw (nitrous process)

Sulfuric Acid Uses.The uses and applications of Sulfuric Acid may vary according to its specification. The main forms of Sulfuric Acid are 33.5% aqueous solution (battery acid); 62.18% aqueous solution (fertilizer acid); 77.67% aqueous solution (tower acid); 93-98% aqueous solution (smelter acid); technical grade (66 ºBé, 1.84 g/cm³, 93.2% acid); Food Chemical Codex grade (FCC, 49 to 51% purity); American Chemical Society grade (ACS, 95 to 98% purity); and chemically pure grade (CP, 98% purity).

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Data Type: chem-pricing
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Sulfuric Acid Prices | Historical and Current

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Monitor monthly Sulfuric Acid price assessments covering 5 locations: United States, Europe, South America, Southeast Asia and China. Also check Sulfuric Acid price history since 2007.

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Data Legend. The chart above shows Sulfuric Acid price assessments in USA Dollar per metric ton (USD/mt) in 5 locations, as follows:

  • Sulfuric Acid, US (United States): Sulfuric Acid, import transaction price, cif, United States
  • Sulfuric Acid, EUR (Europe): Sulfuric Acid, export transaction price, fob, Spain
  • Sulfuric Acid, SAM (South America): Sulfuric Acid, import transaction price, cif, Chile
  • Sulfuric Acid, SEA (Southeast Asia): Sulfuric Acid, import transaction price, cif, India
  • Sulfuric Acid, CN (China): Sulfuric Acid, domestic spot price, exw, China

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Sulfuric Acid Price Outlook. The price of Sulfuric Acid (United States) increased during April 2019 to 113 USD per metric ton, which represents a considerable rise of 46% compared to the previous month’s value. On a year-over-year basis, the prices of Sulfuric Acid (United States) increased significantly by 8%. Meanwhile, the average price of Sulfuric Acid (China) amounted to 66 USD per metric ton, from 72 USD per metric ton one year earlier. On a month-over-month basis, the price of Sulfuric Acid (China) is 20% higher than the price one month before.

The price of Sulfuric Acid (Southeast Asia) rose throughout April 2019, reaching 73 USD per metric ton.  The price is 5% higher than the average price in the previous month and 34% higher than the average price one year before. In contrast, the prices of Sulfuric Acid (Europe) decreased significantly during April 2019, reaching 74 USD per metric ton, which means a decline of 12% from the previous month’s price and a rise of 43% from the previous year’s price. 

The prices of Sulfuric Acid (South America) were flat and a rise of 80% on a yearly basis.

About Sulfuric Acid. Sulfuric Acid (a.k.a. H2SO4) is an inorganic compound, in the acid class. It is a colorless to slightly yellow, odorless, and viscous liquid, soluble in water and alcohol, used in many applications. Approximately 50% of the produced sulfuric acid is used in the fertilizer industry. Sulfuric Acid figures among the most important chemicals globally, in 2012 about 230 million tonnes of the commodity produced, with continuing growth in worldwide production been expected.

On commercial scale, this chemical commodity is manufactured essentially by the Contact Process, which involves the catalytic oxidation of sulfur dioxide (SO2), the absorption of the resulting sulfur trioxide (SO3) in Sulfuric Acid and dilution with water. This process has been greatly improved over the past century, mainly to increase sulfur dioxide conversion efficiency (lowering emissions). Nowadays, modern sulfuric acid plants are primarily based on the so-called Double Absorption, an evolution of the Contact Process that incorporates a preliminary SO3 absorption step ahead of the final catalytic oxidation.

Sulfuric acid can be manufactured from several sulfur-bearing raw materials, being elemental sulfur, spent sulfuric acid, and hydrogen sulfide the main ones. It is also widely produced as a by-product of nonferrous metal smelting (e.g. sulfide ores of copper, lead, molybdenum, zinc, or others). It is worth mentioning that, when manufactured from elemental sulfur or pyrite, Sulfuric Acid is a primary product and, consequently, its level of production is naturally sensitive to market conditions. On the other hand, the Sulfuric Acid manufactured from other sulfur-containing raw materials is a secondary product, in such a way that its production is dictated by the primary product market conditions. In fact, such secondary Sulfuric Acid - so-called fatal acid – is mainly produced as a means of disposing of waste from another processes, typically nonferrous metal smelters processing sulfide ores.

Sulfuric Acid Handling. Sulfuric Acid should be kept away from water and moisture, as a highly exothermic reaction would occur, particularly at high acid concentrations. It is, at lower concentrations (30-70%), non-oxidizing and attacks the steel rapidly, particularly at elevated temperatures. High temperatures will cause an expansion of the volume, presenting a leakage risk. Temperature, concentration, and volumes must be carefully chosen to ensure a secure storage or transportation. Steel tank cars, often lined to minimize iron contamination, are usually employed for high concentrations of sulfuric acid. Bottom outlets or valves are not allowed, nor are internal steam coils. Tank contents must be unloaded via standpipe. Using air pressure to unload is not recommended for safety reasons.

Sulfuric Acid Production. Raw materials and the respective production processes employed in the manufacturing of Sulfuric Acid are listed below.

  • Oleum (hydration),
  • Coke oven gas (moist gas catalysis process),
  • Sulfur dioxide, raw (nitrous process)

Sulfuric Acid Uses.The uses and applications of Sulfuric Acid may vary according to its specification. The main forms of Sulfuric Acid are 33.5% aqueous solution (battery acid); 62.18% aqueous solution (fertilizer acid); 77.67% aqueous solution (tower acid); 93-98% aqueous solution (smelter acid); technical grade (66 ºBé, 1.84 g/cm³, 93.2% acid); Food Chemical Codex grade (FCC, 49 to 51% purity); American Chemical Society grade (ACS, 95 to 98% purity); and chemically pure grade (CP, 98% purity).

Intratec Methodology. Intratec Primary Commodity Prices are produced from a data-driven, mathematical approach, which starts with the extraction of data from various primary sources, including official trade records, statistics bureaus, governmental and international agencies. Such large volume of data is validated through advanced data processing techniques, and treated by means of statistical analysis for outliers removal. When faced with input gaps, data scientists and engineers employ mathematical models or machine learning techniques to estimate prices and ensure the completeness of the price assessments presented. (learn more ).

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