A pH adjuster is a chemical used to alter the pH or Potential Hydrogen level. pH (Potential Hydrogen) is the measurement of the activity of the hydrogen ion or how basic or acidic something is. By adding a pH reagent such as an acid you can drive pH downward. By using a caustic or other alkaline substance you can drive pH upward. Typical pH range is 0-14 but actual pH levels can exceed these theoretical limits.
Sulfuric acid and sodium hydroxide (caustic) are most commonly used for neutralizing acids or bases. Caution must be used for pH adjust applications as an exothermic reaction will occur generating heat. The more severe the application the more heat generated. For example; pH adjusting tap water will create very little heat and is a non-issue. Neutralizing solutions with a high percentage acidic or bases can generate significant heat and therefore must be considered in design and materials. Use caution when doing any pH adjustment.
Unfortunately in the world of pH there is no one size fits all standard for what to use for pH adjustments in water treatment. pH Adjusters for Water Treatment include many chemicals that have varying benefits and disadvantages. We suggest speaking directly with one of our chemists to analyze your application and determine the best course of action. To understand more about what you should use to adjust pH in your facility or application, our WaterFact post on What should I use for Alkalinity Adjustments in my Wastewater Treatment Plant? will provide some clarity on different ways you can adjust pH. In addition, see our product information below to assist in choosing the product that meets your needs.