Chemistry Question #2596

Wesley O. Smith, a 54 year old male from Yuma, TN USA asks on February 23, 2005,

I have 10 gallons of new battery acid 31%-39% Sulphuric acid, SP gr. 1.26. I need concentrated Sulphuric acid at SP gr. 1.78. Can I boil the weaker acid down slowly to get 1.78 sp gravity. I use the conc. sulphuric for stipping gold from plated items. If I use weak acid it starts stipping the base metals very fast instead of the plated gold.

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The answer

Barry Shell answered on February 25, 2005

According to University of Victoria chemist, Reg Mitchell, you can boil the acid to make it more concentrated. Be aware that it gives off sulfur trioxide as it boils, so be careful--do it outside or something. Also, you will need aqua regia  (a combination of nitric and hydrochloric acid) to dissolve gold.

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