Phosphorus Chemical Element

The element that is featured in this report is phosphorus. Phosphorus is a chemical element that human beings, animals, and plants need for normal growth. The main use of phosphorus is fertilizer. It was difficult to find a lot of different information on this element.

Phosphorus is a nonmetallic chemical element that can exist in several different forms. The chemical symbol for phosphorus is P, its atomic number is 15, and its atomic weight is 30.975. Phosphorus was first prepared by the German alchemist Hennig Brandt in 1669; in the course of his search for the philosopher’s stone he obtained from a residue of evaporated urine a white solid that glowed in the dark and ignited spontaneously in the air. The name phosphorus is Greek for “light-bringing”. The name at that time was used for any substance that glows of itself, and was eventually given to this element. Phosphorus does not occur in elemental form in nature; it is found most commonly in apatite minerals such as fluorapatite.

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Their are at least ten forms of the element that are known, occurring within red, white, and black phosphorus categories or as mixtures of them. White phosphorus consists of molecular P(4) and can exist in an alpha form, which is stable at room temperature, and a beta form, stable below -78 deg C. White phosphorus is a waxlike substance, very toxic and extremely flammable. When it is exposed to air in the dark, it emits a greenish light and gives off white fumes. It can ignite spontaneously.

Red phosphorus is a more stable form than white. Red phosphorus is a brownish-red powder and it can be obtained by heating white phosphorus to 250 deg C in a closed vessel or exposing white phosphorus to sunlight Red phosphorus is often considered a mixture of white and black phosphorus. It neither phosphoresces nor spontaneously burns in air. Red phosphorus should be handled carefully at certain temperatures because it can change to white phosphorus.

Upon heating to temperatures near 300 deg C for several days, red phosphorus is converted to black phosphorus. Black phosphorus is a much less common form. It is flaky, like graphite, and has some metallic properties. It is the least reactive of the forms of phosphorus.

Some of the physical properties of phosphorus are its various colors as listed above. The most common colors are white, red, and black. In the white form it is a waxlike substance. In the red form of phosphorus it is a brownish-red powder and the black form resembles the mineral granite and is flaky.

A chemical property found in phosphorus is its flammability. Also, it glows in the dark when exposed to air. Phosphorus can change forms by the changing of temperature. Phosphorus is also very toxic. The chemical properties change depending on what form of phosphorus is used.

Phosphorus is used for many different things. White phosphorus is used in incendiary and napalm bombs. It is used in the explosive part of the bombs. Phosphorus is one of the most important substances for life along with water, carbon, nitrogen, oxygen, and sulfur. The principal components of organic matter are carbon, hydrogen, and oxygen. Nitrogen, phosphorus, and sulfur are important because they interact with the carbon-hydrogen-oxygen matrix. These substances are components of natural cycles that have geological as well as biological components. Another use for phosphorus is the match. The first friction matches were tipped with mixtures that included the incendiary chemical white phosphorus. They were produced in the 1830s. They would ignite when struck against almost any rough surface. For workers in match factories, however, the white phosphorus proved a deadly poison; the incidence of “phossy jaw,” a bone malady caused by the chemical, was among the earliest of recognized occupational diseases. The safety match, developed in 1855, could be ignited only by striking it on a surface containing red phosphorus. Phosphorus remained a hazard in “strike anywhere” matches, however, until the development in 1911 of phosphorus sesquisulfide, a nonpoisonous chemical.

The blast furnace iron also contains a small but significant amount of phosphorus. In the steel making process most of the phosphorus must be reduced.

The phosphorus level is very high in milk, meats, many vegetables, and fruits such as bananas. It is very important for the human body to receive a certain amount of phosphorus because it is essential to the building of bone. Another function of phosphorus in the human body is that it is needed in intermediary metabolism.

Nearly all the phosphorus used is in the form of phosphates, the salts derived from phosphoric acid. Phosphates are one of a number of chemical compound that contain phosphorus and oxygen in the phosphate group PO4. Phosphates are necessary to the growth of plants and animal, and have extensive use as fertilizers. The phosphate mineral hydroxyyapatite is and important part of bones and teeth. Phosphates used to be used to make detergents. They helped remove dirt and soften hard water. The result of using phosphates in detergents appear to have contributed to water pollution. These compounds in waste water fertilize simple plants called algae. When the algae died their decay polluted the water.

Phosphoric acid is the most common acid of phosphorus. Industry uses it to make inorganic phosphate compounds. Phosphoric acid is also used in fertilizers, soft drinks, and flavoring syrups.

Most phosphoric acid is made by burning pure phosphorus to form phosphorus pentoxide, which is reacted with water. Pure phosphoric acid forms colorless crystals that melt at about 41.5 deg C. it is very soluble in water. Technically phosphoric acid is called ortophosphoric acid. Its chemical formula is H3PO4.

•Formula: Br3P •Molecular Weight: 270.69 •CAS Registry Number: 7789-60-8

•Chemical Structure: •Other Names: PBr3; Phosphorus(III) bromide;

Phosphorous tribromide; Extrema; Phosphorous bromide; Phosphorus

bromide; Tribromophosphine Aluminum monophosphide

•Formula: AlP •Molecular Weight: 57.96 •CAS Registry Number: 20859-73-8

•Other Names: Aluminum phosphide; AlP; Aluminium-phosphide-; Aluminum

•Formula: Br5P •Molecular Weight: 430.49 •CAS Registry Number: 7789-69-7

•Other Names: Phosphorous pentabromide; Phosphorus pentabromide; Phosphorane, pentabromo-; Pentabromophosphorane; Pentabromophosphorus; Phosphoric bromide;

•Formula: BrP •Molecular Weight: 110.88 •CAS Registry Number: 59727-16-1

•Formula: C10H15OPS2 •Molecular Weight: 246.33 •CAS Registry Number:

944-22-9 •Other Names: Fonofos; O-Ethyl S-phenyl ethylphosphonothiolothionate; Phosphonodithioic acid, ethyl-, O-ethyl S-phenyl ester; Difonate; Difonatul; Dyfonat; Dyfonate 10G; Dyphonate; N 2790; O-Ethyl S-Phenyl ethyldithiophosphonate; O-Ethyl S-phenyl ethylphosphonodithioate; Stauffer N 2790; 10 G; O-Aethyl-S-phenyl-aethyl-dithiophosphonat; ENT 25,796; Fonophos; OMS 410

8. Phosphonous acid, phenyl-, diethyl ester

•Formula: C10H15O2P •Molecular Weight: 198.20 •CAS Registry Number:

1638-86-4 •Other Names: Diethyl phenylphosphonite; Diethoxyphenylphosphine

•Formula: C10H21P •Molecular Weight: 172.25 •CAS Registry Number:

•Formula: C10H9Cl4O4P •Molecular Weight: 365.96 •CAS Registry Number:

22248-79-9 •Other Names: Stirofos; Tetrachlorvinphos; Phosphoric acid

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Phosphorus Chemical Element. (2018, Jun 23). Retrieved from