Sulphuric acid, also known as H₂SO₄ in the world of chemistry, is one of the most corrosive substances that exists. And if you still doubt it, this little experiment is enough to convince you. Some internet users have been having fun plunging plain sponges into a few millilitres of this acid.
SpongeBob SquarePants needs to watch his back! He wouldn’t be in the best position if he fell into the hands of fans of ‘Let’s melt this’ - a channel on YouTube that has more than 100,000 subscribers. And these subscribers love watching these videos in which they melt almost anything and everything.
Sulphuric acid is overwhelmingly efficient
Known as vitriol oil when it was first discovered, sulphuric acid, whose chemical formula is H₂SO₄, is considered one of the strongest simple acids. Each year, 180 million tonnes of it are produced in the world and it is used in numerous products and types of industry: making fertilizer, artificial textiles, oil refining, paint strippers, batteries… To name just a few. Extremely corrosive, it’s able to burn through any type of organic material, including skin. That’s why it’s necessary to take the proper precautions to protect yourself properly when handling this acid.
A spectacular experiment
Obviously very well protected, our testers at ‘Let’s melt this’ tried an experiment that involved submerging innocent sponges (whose material is organic) in sulphuric acid. The least we can say is that the effect is as spectacular as it is rapid. Within a few seconds, the entire sponges disappear and leave nothing but brown sludge behind. Although the liquid is already very dangerous and has to be handled with the utmost care and precautions, the vapours that their reactions give off are all also dangerous. Which should be enough to convince anyone never to play with sulphuric acid! To better understand this chemical reaction, you can watch some of their other experiments in slow motion.
Check out the video above to see this insane reaction for yourself!