Perchloric acid is among the strongest acids, and when heated, is a powerful oxidizer capable of contributing to or causing the combustion of other materials. Its ability to react with other materials in a potentially explosive way is what makes this acid useful in the manufacture of rocket fuel.
In a laboratory, this substance can be obtained by combining sulfuric acid with barium perchlorate. Barium sulfate precipitates from this mixture leaving the acid behind. Mixing ammonium perchlorate and nitric acid is another way to obtain this acid.
Commercially, it is made by treating hydrochloric acid with sodium perchlorate to obtain a concentrated acid, which is then purified through distillation. Another option involves using aqueous chlorine and using a platinum electrode to achieve anodic oxidation.
The non-organic, metallic and organic salts created by oxidation not only pose a great explosion and fire hazard but are also shock sensitive. This type of acid can destroy human tissue and must be handled with extreme care.