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What is oil of vitriol ?


Concentrated sulphuric acid is a dense and  oily liquid which is also known as oil of vitriol.  Concentrated sulphuric acid has a specific gravity of 1.84 and a boiling point of 611 K. The high boiling point and high viscosity indicate that sulphuric acid has associated structure due to hydrogen bonding as shown below:
The concentrated acid is soluble in water and the dissolution process is highly exothermic. So acid is always diluted by adding acid to the water slowly and not by adding water to acid. This is done because in the later case, lot of heat is produced which causes the acid to spurt out of the container.

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