Getting HCl from limescale remover?

  1. As a home chemist I don't have access to Hydrochloric acid, however I did find some limescale remover that claimed to contain 6.75% HCl. This substance is blue and soapy. Any ideas on how I could isolate just the HCl? (Obviously dissolved in water)
  2. jcsd
  3. You would need to heat up the substance in a container and then the HCl should evaporate after some time, have the container hooked up using a tube to another container and you should have HCl gas in your 2nd container, getting into liquid form is beyond me.
  4. Borek

    Staff: Mentor

    HCl is not volatile enough to make this method viable.
  5. I'd imagine this would be a simple matter of bubbling it through water. It also could be worth noting that I don't need this to be a very strong concentration or very efficient.

    Although heating the solution might not release the HCl, do you think boiling it could work? I understand this would probably be quite dangerous, but too dangerous for a home experiment?
  6. Borek

    Staff: Mentor

    It is possible to distill HCl from water solutions, but you won't get higher concentration than about 20%. Without a proper fume hood this is dangerous, plus, I am not sure I like the idea of heating the liquid as you described it. I guess it contains some gelling agent that makes it more viscous, if so, you can overheat the mixture locally and it will not boil evenly. That can make it explode.
  7. You're, right the limescale remover is a bit too viscous. The only other solution I can think of is the method of outgassing proposed in this video: . Could the gelling agent in the limescale remover might prevent this? and although the perfume of the limescale remove would probably also get carried across, It would certainly be easier to distill.
    Last edited by a moderator: Sep 25, 2014
  8. Borek

    Staff: Mentor

    To some extent - but I am not convinced it will work in any practical timescale. He started with highly concentrated acid, so the partial pressure of gaseous HCl over solution was high - but even then procedure takes at least a week. Partial pressure of HCl goes down with lowering concentration (faster than the concentration goes down), plus the viscosity will slow down the mixing, both factors will slow down the process substantially. No doubt you will get to HCl being split between containers eventually, but I would be not surprised if it will require several months or even longer. That's what I was aiming at with my first post.
    Last edited by a moderator: Sep 25, 2014
  9. chemisttree

    chemisttree 3,717
    Science Advisor
    Homework Helper
    Gold Member

    I cannot imagine a more difficult proposition than distilling a soapy solution successfully. Very likely you will get hot acidic foam in the receiver and little else.
  10. Yeah, I gave up. Thanks for your help guys!
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