Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia
- n. See also contact action.
GNU Webster's 1913
- adj. [Obs.] A heavy, corrosive, oily liquid, H2SO4, colorless when pure, but usually yellowish or brownish, produced by the combined action of sulphur dioxide, oxygen (from the air), steam, and nitric fumes. It attacks and dissolves many metals and other intractable substances, sets free most acids from their salts, and is used in the manufacture of hydrochloric and nitric acids, of soda, of bleaching powders, etc. It is also powerful dehydrating agent, having a strong affinity for water, and eating and corroding paper, wood, clothing, etc. It is thus used in the manufacture of ether, of imitation parchment, and of nitroglycerin. It is also used in etching iron, in removing iron scale from forgings, in petroleum refining, etc., and in general its manufacture is the most important and fundamental of all the chemical industries. Formerly called
vitriolic acid, and now popularly vitriol, and oil of vitriol.
- n. (H2SO4) a highly corrosive acid made from sulfur dioxide; widely used in the chemical industry
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