link to Home Page

icon Sulfuric Acid

With regard to lead acid batteries, it is suggested that one takes acid into the after-time stored in glass jars. Yeah, right! Sounds like a good way to wreck a few things to me. Is there a container that would hold acid that one could safely take into the after-time? Or is there a way to make sulfuric acid which only requires things that will be on hand in the after-time? Taking the acid out of batteries when they are not being used is a good idea in theory; but dangerous! Any ideas?

Offered by Helena.

I believe that sulfuric acid can be obtained in a powder form, rather than a liquid. This might be a safer way to store it. If the jar broke it could be carefully swept up. I would also pack the jar inside two "unbreakable" plastic jars just to be on the safe side though.

Offered by Jennifer.

You can buy battery acid separate from the batteries. I believe most auto store may sell it. Now what kind of container it is in, I don't know, but obviously it can't be too fragile for general use.

Offered by Steve.

Steve is quite correct in saying that auto parts stores sell electrolyte. The great thing about the way they generally store it is that most commonly it is in a "bag-in-a-box". This should allay any concerns you have about storing battery acid. Of course some basic precautions will need to be taken to avoid crushing or puncture but that shouldn't be a problem. Please keep the boxes of electrolyte in a well-ventilated area!

Offered by Owl.

Concentrated Sulfuric acid can only be stored in glass, no metal lids, some plastic containers. It will attack anything organic, causing severe burns, the good thing is it will not start a fire but if it goes into contact with a metal it may generate hydrogen gas, an explosion risk. Car garages get the acid in plastic containers. They also buy what is called "dry charged batteries". What they are is batteries that are charged and the acid removed. The batteries remain in that state for a long time. To activate you just add the concentrated sulfuric acid. So best to drain the acid when the batteries are fully charged. You may wish to rinse the battery with distilled water, then pour out all of the water. This will prevent any deterioration in the battery. Have lots of water and baking soda around in case of a spill, the stuff is very dangerous and must be washed off the skin immediately or a severe burn will occur! This is a very dangerous maneuver to say the least. If you spill the acid on any organic clothing it will fall apart, synthetics usually survive better. Acid should be stored in a container (you may get an old empty one from a car garage or other battery place) away from food stuffs. This applies to any flammable materials as well. Do not store anything such as bullets for guns or gun powder in the same location as any acid as a spill into such material may make for a really bad day. Most clay soils will neutralize the acid but it will generate carbon dioxide gas, another reason not to store the acid in your living areas or near the ventilation for such areas.

Offered by Dave.

If you are really serious about this stuff you might wish to store 'pure' sulphuric acid. At concentrations (above 97%) it may be stored in metal (ie steel) containers. When required you can then decant and add the appropriate amount of water to get the right % of solution for the batteries or whatever. This level of concentration (above 97%) is used in industry in their large storage tanks.

Offered by Stephen.