Water and Citric Acid

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  • Topic: Water, Citric acid, Acid
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  • Published : March 3, 2013
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Chapter I
Problem and its Background
A. Introduction
Chelating agent is a compound that combines with metal ions to form stable ring structures. It is used to reduce the concentration of free metal ion in solution by complexing it. From the Greek term “chela” that means “the great claw” of the lobster or other crustaceans, chelate, root word for “chelating”, suggests the way in which an organic compound “clamps” onto the cationic element, which it chelates.

In order for a compound to be called a true chelating agent, it must have certain chemical characteristics. This chelating compound must consist of at least two sites capable of donating electrons (coordinate covalent bond) to the metal it chelates.

For true chelation to occur the donating atom/s must also be in a position within the chelating molecule so that a formation of a ring with the metal ion can occur. The term sequestered deals more with the action of chelation or complexing, not the actual chemical arrangement or definition. The term “complexed” originates from combinations of minerals and organic compounds that do not meet the guidelines of a true chelate.

Chelators are used in producing nutritional supplements, fertilizers, chemical analysis, as water softeners, commercial products such as shampoos and food preservatives, medicine, heavy metal detox, and industrial applications. Citric Acid is one of the organic acids commonly used as a chelating agent. It is considered an excellent chelating agent that binds metals. It is used to remove lime scale from boilers and evaporators. It can be used to soften water, which makes it useful in soaps and laundry detergents. By chelating the metals in hard water, it lets these cleaners produce foam and work better without need for water softening devices. Citric acid is the active ingredient in some bathroom and kitchen cleaning solutions. A solution with a 6% concentration of citric acid will remove hard water stains from glass without scrubbing. In industry, it is used to dissolve rust from steel. Citric acid can be used in shampoo to wash out wax and coloring from the hair.

One of the many sources of natural citric acid is citrus fruits. The calamansi, a citrus fruit, is believed native to China and thought to have been taken in early times to Indonesia and the Philippines. It became the most important Citrus juice source in the Philippine Islands. In the Philippines, the extracted juice, with the addition of gum tragacanth as an emulsifier, is pasteurized and bottled commercially. The fruit juice is used in the Philippines to bleach ink stains from fabrics.

Because of such may uses and benefits to Filipinos and also because of the likely warm climate of the Philippines, the fruit is indigenous and widely cultivated in the Philippines. Calamansi is available year round in the Philippines and is usually seen in its unripened state as a dark green fruit, but if left to ripen it turns a tangerine orange color. It was introduced to the U.S. as an "acid orange" about 1900.

In 2010, the Asia-Pacific region was the largest outlet, generating about 45% of worldwide demand for chelating agents. The region was then followed by Western Europe and North America. The global chelating agents market is expected to reach more than 5 million tones in 2018.

In year 2006, global production of citric acid has already reached 1.4 million tones. The actual price of citric acid is about $1 or 41 pesos per kilo. As a result, there is an average of ₱57,400,000,000 for year 2006. Furthermore, there is an annual growth of 3.5–4.0 % in demand/consumption of citric acid. Due to the aforementioned annual growth of 3.5–4.0 % in demand and consumption of citric acid, there is an obvious need for increase in citric acid productivity. This is early recommended for scarcity prevention and wise management of citric acid production.

One of the main reasons why the researchers decided on this study is to contribute...
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