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HOME >> Chemicals >> Chemicals List 1 >> Phosphorus

Phosphorus
CAS number 7723-14-0
Phosphorus CAS number 7723-14-0
              Phosphorus powder
                             
PRODUCT IDENTIFICATION


PHOSPHORUS
EINECS NO. 231-768-7
FORMULA P4
MOL WT. 123.88
H.S. CODE 2804.70

TOXICITY

Oral rat LD50: 3030 ug/kg
SYNONYMS Phosphorus (white); Phosphorous yellow; Phosphorus (red);
Black Phosphorus; Fosforo Bianco (Italian); Gelber Phosphor (German); Phosphore Blanc (French); Phosphorous (White); P Tetrafosfor (Dutch); Tetraphosphor (German); Violet Phosphorus; Weiss Phosphor (German)

GENERAL DESCRIPTION

Phosphorus is a nonmetallic chemical element in group 15 (nitrogen family, formerly Va) of periodic table; atomic number 15 atomic mass 30.9738; melting point ca 44.1 C (white); boiling point ca 280 C (white); specific gravity 1.82 (white), 2.34 (red), 2.70 (black); valence -3, +3, or +5 ; electronic config. 2-8-5 or 1s 22s 22p 63s 23p 3.

The phosphorus molecule is composed of four phosphorus atoms, P4. Phosphorus exists in a number of allotropic forms [white (alpha and beta), red, black and/or violet] in the same physical state. White phosphorus is a white to yellow waxy substance which ignites spontaneously in air to form white fumes of phosphorus pentoxide and glows without emitting heat.

Phosphorus is stored underwater as it is extremely poisonous, insoluble in water (but soluble in carbon disulfide). Commercial production of elemental phosphorus is prepared from phosphorite or phosphate rock (apatite, an impure calcium phosphate mineral) reacting with coke and sand or silica pebblesor at high temperatures in an electric furnace.

Calcium silicate is produced as a by-product. White phosphorus is used as a deoxidizing agent in the preparation of steel and phosphor bronze. It is also used in rat poisons and to make smoke screens (by burning) for warfare. When white phosphorus is heated to about 250 C with air absence, it changes into the red phosphorus.

Red phosphorus, a dark redish powder or crystal, does not ignite spontaneously unless heated to 200 C, does not phosphoresce and it is a little less dangerous than white phosphorus. It is used to make matches. Red phosphorus is prepared commercially by heating calcium phosphate with sand and coke in an electric furnace. Black allotrope is obtained industrially by heating at 300 C under pressure with a mercury catalyst. It has a layer structure and is stable.

The major use of phosphorus compounds is in fertilizers, mainly as a mixture called superphosphate (calcium hydrogen phosphate), obtained from phosphate minerals by sulfuric acid treatment; and in nitrophosphates. Phosphorus is burned to make phosphorus pentoxide [phosphorus(V) oxide], a white solid used as a chlorinating agent in organic chemistry, as a drying agent and mainly converted to phosphoric acid used to make phosphates for fertilizers, electro chemical polishing and shaping, electroplating, metal cleaning and pickling in metal treatment by reaction with water. Phosphorus is highly reactive.

A wide range of compounds is formed for uses in detergents, water softeners, pharmaceuticals, dentifrices, and in many other important applications. It forms metal phosphides and covalently bonded phosphorus(III) and phosphorus(V) compounds. Phosphoric acid can combine with certain alkaline elements to form salts called phosphates.

PHYSICAL AND CHEMICAL PROPERTIES

PHYSICAL STATE a number of allotropic forms
MELTING POINT 44 C (white), 590 C (red)
BOILING POINT 280 C (white), sublimes (red)
SPECIFIC GRAVITY 1.82 (white), 2.34 (red), 2.70 (black)
SOLUBILITY IN WATER insoluble
pH
VISCOSITY VAPOR DENSITY AUTOIGNITION NFPA RATINGS
Health: 3 Flammability: 0 Reactivity: 1
REFRACTIVE INDEX FLASH POINT
30 C(white), 260 C(red)

STABILITY

Stable under ordinary conditions

APPLICATIONS

Phosphoric acid, sodium phosphates, calcium, ammonium and potassium phosphates, phosphorus trichloride, pentasulfide and pentoxide.

SALES SPECIFICATION WHITE/YELLOW PHOSPHORUS APPEARANCE

white to straw yellow waxy solid
ASSAY 99.0% min

INSOLUBLES IN DILUTE NITRIC ACID

0.1% max
ACIDITY (H3PO4)
0.2% max
SULFUR
0.1% max

RED PHOSPHORUS APPEARANCE

red to violet amorphosus powder
ASSAY
98.5% min
SOLUBLES IN WATER
1.0% max

WHITE PHOSPHORUS

0.003% max
MOISTURE
0.25% max
ACIDITY (H3PO4)
0.1% max

HAZARD CLASS

4.2, 4.1 UN NO. 1381 (yellow), 1338 (red)

Uses

In recent years, concentrated phosphoric acids, which may contain as much as 70% to 75% P2O5 content, have become of great importance to agriculture and farm production. World-wide demand for fertilizers has caused record phosphate production. Phosphates are used in the production of special glasses, such as those used for sodium lamps.

 

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