Names of 10 Common Acids

Here is a list of ten common acids with chemical structures. Acids are compounds that dissociate in water to donate hydrogen ions/protons or to accept electrons.

01
of 10
Acetic Acid

Acetic acid is also known as ethanoic acid.
Acetic acid is also known as ethanoic acid. LAGUNA DESIGN / Getty Images

Acetic Acid: HC2H3O2

Also known as: ethanoic acid, CH3COOH, AcOH.

Acetic acid is found in vinegar. This acid is most often found in liquid form. Pure acetic acid (glacial) crystallizes just below room temperature.

02
of 10
Boric Acid

This is the chemical structure of boric acid.
This is the chemical structure of boric acid. Todd Helmenstine

Boric Acid: H3BO3

Also known as: acidum boricum, hydrogen orthoborate

Boric acid may be used as a disinfectant or pesticide. It's usually found as a white crystalline powder.

03
of 10
Carbonic Acid

This is the chemical structure of carbonic acid.
This is the chemical structure of carbonic acid. LAGUNA DESIGN / Getty Images

Carbonic Acid: CH2O3

Also known as: aerial acid, acid of air, dihydrogen carbonate, kihydroxyketone.

Solutions of carbon dioxide in water (carbonated water) may be called carbonic acid. This is the only acid excreted by the lungs as a gas. Carbonic acid is a weak acid. It is responsible for dissolving limestone to produce geological features such as stalagmites and stalactites.

04
of 10
Citric Acid

Citric acid is also known as 2-hydroxypropane-1,2,3-tricarboxylic acid.
Citric acid is a weak acid found in citrus fruits and used as a natural preservative and to impart a sour flavoring. NEUROtiker, Wikipedia Commons

Citric Acid: H3C6H5O7

Also known as: 2-Hydroxy-1,2,3-propanetricarboxylic acid.

Citric acid is a weak organic acid that gets its name because it is a natural acid in citrus fruits. The chemical is an intermediate species in the citric acid cycle, which is key for aerobic metabolism. The acid is widely used as a flavoring and acidifier in food.

05
of 10
Hydrochloric Acid

This is the chemical structure of hydrochloric acid.
This is the chemical structure of hydrochloric acid. Todd Helmenstine

Hydrochloric acid: HCl

Also known as marine acid, chloronium, spirit of salt.

Hydrochloric acid is a clear, highly corrosive strong acid. It's found in diluted form as muriatic acid. The chemical has many industrial and lab uses. HCl is the acid found in gastric juice.

06
of 10
Hydrofluoric Acid

This is the chemical structure of hydrofluoric acid.
This is the chemical structure of hydrofluoric acid. Todd Helmenstine

Hydrofluoric Acid: HF

Also known as: hydrogen fluoride, hydrofluoride, hydrogen monofluoride, fluorhydric acid.

Although it is highly corrosive, hydrofluoric acid is considered a weak acid because it doesn't usually dissociate completely. The acid will eat glass and metals, so HF is stored in plastic containers. HF is used to make fluorine compounds, including Teflon and Prozac.

07
of 10
Nitric Acid

This is the chemical structure of nitric acid.
This is the chemical structure of nitric acid. Todd Helmenstine

Nitric Acid: HNO3

Also known as: aqua fortis, azotic acid, engraver's acid, nitroalcohol.

Nitric acid is a strong mineral acid. In pure form, it is a colorless liquid. Over time, it develops a yellow color from decomposition into nitrogen oxides and water. Nitric acid is used to make explosives and inks and as a strong oxidizer for industrial and lab use.

08
of 10
Oxalic Acid

This is the chemical structure of oxalic acid.
This is the chemical structure of oxalic acid. Todd Helmenstine

Oxalic Acid: H2C2O4

Also known as: ethanedioic acid, hydrogen oxalate, ethanedionate, acidum oxalicum, HOOCCOOH, oxiric acid.

Oxalic acid gets its name because it was first isolated as a salt from sorrel (Oxalis sp.). The acid is relatively abundant in green, leafy foods. It's also found in metal cleaners, anti-rust products, and some types of bleach.

09
of 10
Phosphoric Acid

Phosphoric acid is also known as orthophosphoric acid or phosphoric(V) acid.
Phosphoric acid is also known as orthophosphoric acid or phosphoric(V) acid. Ben Mills

Phosphoric Acid: H3PO4

Also known as: orthophosphoric acid, trihydrogen phosphate, acidum phosphoricum.

Phosphoric acid is a mineral acid used in home cleaning products, as a chemical reagent, as a rust inhibitor, and as a dental etchant. Phosphoric acid is also an important acid in biochemistry.

10
of 10
Sulfuric Acid

This is the chemical structure of sulfuric acid.
This is the chemical structure of sulfuric acid. Todd Helmenstine

Sulfuric acid: H2SO4

Also known as: battery acid, dipping acid, mattling acid, Terra Alba, oil of vitriol.

Sulfuric acid is a corrosive mineral strong acid. Although normally clear to slightly yellow, it may be dyed dark brown to alert people to its composition. Sulfuric acid causes serious chemical burns, as well as thermal burns from the exothermic dehydration reaction. The acid is used in lead batteries, drain cleaners, and chemical synthesis.