Why is HClO4 a strong acid?

HClO4 is the chemical formula for perchloric acid. This particular acid is classified as a strong acid because of its ionizing properties in water.  Strong acids are those that are able to ionize in water completely. This means that the ions of the strong acid dissociate easily and immediately in the presence of water.  This is the case with HClO4 or perchloric acid which is why it is considered a strong acid.

Perchloric acid is also considered a great oxidizing agent.  This means that this acid will result in immediate changes in the chemical property of another substance after it comes in contact with it.  Chemically, perchloric acid causes the removal of one electron from another substance thereby changing its oxidative state. When in contact with another substance, perchloric acid can immediately cause damage through oxidation. This property also makes HClO4 one of the stronger acids available.

HClO4 can be sourced and formed in two ways. One method is through the treatment of sodium perchlorate with other acids like hydrochloric acid.  The result of this chemical reaction is perchloric acid.  This acid may also be prepared using barium perchlorate instead.  In this case, sulfuric acid may be added to the solution to create the liquid substance called HCl04.  The solid precipitate of the latter experiment, meanwhile, becomes barium sulfate.  Either way, perchloric acid is widely used in the making of rocket fuel.  In fact, the industry behind rockets has grown steadily over the years making the demand for perchloric acid even stronger.

In terms of safety, perchloric acid is classified as highly corrosive and highly reactive with other metals so it must be handled with extreme caution.  Its use is widely regulated in many countries around the world because of safety concerns.  Various mishandling incidents have already been reported that resulted in damages and casualties.

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