Phosphine (PH3) | Properties | Uses | Other Details - Elements and Compounds


Monday, February 27, 2023

Phosphine (PH3) | Properties | Uses | Other Details

Phosphine (PH3) Properties Uses and Other Details

    What is Phospine 

    Phosphine is an inorganic compound, belonging to the class of chemicals known as organophosphorus compounds. Its chemical formula is PH3. Phosphine is a colourless, flammable and highly toxic gas. It is characterized by the smell of garlic or rotten fish. Phosphine is a phosphorus hydride, classified as a nictogen hydride. This gas is formed naturally through the anaerobic decay of organic matter containing phosphorus. It is commonly made in enterprises and laboratories due to its important industrial applications. Phosphine is used in industrial processes, in flame retardant production, and as a pesticide.
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    Phosphine Properties Uses and other information

    Properties of Phosphine

    • Phosphine is a colourless, flammable, highly toxic gas with an odor of garlic or rotten fish.
    • It is an odorless gas in its pure form.
    • Phosphine has a trigonal pyramidal structure similar to that of phosphorus.
    • Its density is 1.38 kg per cubic meter.
    • Its molar mass is 33.99758 g/mol.
    • Its melting point is -132.8 °C, and boiling point is -87.7 °C.
    • It is slightly soluble in cold water. While it is not soluble at all in hot water.
    • Apart from water, it is also slightly soluble in alcohol, ethanol, ether and cuprous chloride solution.
    • When it is heated to decomposition it emits toxic fumes of phosphorus oxide.
    • It explodes violently when exposed to oxidizing agents.
    • Under normal conditions, it is a non-combustible gas, but it catches fire when heated, resulting in the formation of phosphoric acid.
    • Phosphine, like ammonia, is a Lewis base. When it reacts with hydrogen iodide HI, hydrogen bromide HBr, and HCl, it forms phosphonium compounds.
    • Phosphine PH3 in water decomposes in the presence of light to form red phosphorus and water.

    Uses of Phosphine

    • Phosphine is the precursor to many organophosphorus compounds.
    • It reacts with formaldehyde in the presence of hydrogen chloride to give tetrakis phosphonium chloride, which is used in textiles.
    • Phosphine is used as a dopant in the semiconductor industries.
    • Phosphine PH3 ignites easily so it is used in Holme's signal. When a ship at sea needed help, containers filled with calcium carbide and calcium phosphide were pierced and thrown into the sea. As a result of contact with water, acetylene and phosphine gases are generated. When these gases burn in the air, they send signals.
    • Phosphine is used to make metal phosphides.
    • Phosphine is used to make smoke screen. When calcium phosphide is soaked in water, a large amount of phosphine is produced, resulting in the formation of a smoke cloud. During war it was used to hide the soldiers from the enemy.
    • Phosphine is used as a fumigant to protect crops from pests during storage.

    Other information

    • Phosphine can be prepared in a variety of ways. Industrially it can be made by reacting white phosphorus with sodium hydroxide or potassium hydroxide, producing potassium hypophosphite or sodium hypophosphite as a by-product. :- 3 KOH + P4 + 3 H2O → 3 KH2PO2 + PH3 . / 3 NaOH + P4 + 3 H2O → 3 NaH2PO2 + PH3.
    • Phosphine is an extremely toxic gas, which is extremely lethal even at concentrations of 50 parts per million (ppm).
    • Phosphine is an extremely dangerous gas. Exposure to even small amounts of the gas can cause dizziness, cough, cerebral pain, severe lung irritation, chest tightness, cardiac dysfunction, CNS stimulation, coma, and in severe cases, death. Also gastrointestinal disorders, kidney damage, leukopenia can also occur.

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