Phosphorus | Properties | Uses | and Facts - Elements and Compounds


Sunday, April 9, 2023

Phosphorus | Properties | Uses | and Facts

Properties Uses and Facts about Phosphorus

    What is Phosphorus

    Phosphorus is classified as a nonmetal, and chemically, it is an element. Phosphorus is found in many different forms (Allotropes). Phosphorus (white) has a density of 1.823 grams per cubic centimeter. Phosphorus has the symbol P, atomic number 15, and atomic mass 30.9737 amu. Phosphorus atom has 15 electrons, 15 protons, 16 neutrons and 3 energy levels. In the Periodic Table, Phosphorus is located in Group 15, Period 3 and Block P. Phosphorus is found in the solid state at room temperature, its melting point is 44.1 °C (111 °F), and its boiling point is 280 °C (536 °F).

    Phosphorus was discovered by the German physician Hennig Brand in 1669.
    What-is-Phosphorus, Properties-of-Phosphorus, uses-of-Phosphorus, details-on-Phosphorus, facts-about-Phosphorus, Phosphorus-characteristics, Phosphorus,
    Phosphorus Properties Uses and Facts

    Properties of Phosphorus 

    • Phosphorus is found in three forms (Allotropes), red phosphorus, white phosphorus, and black phosphorus. The physical and chemical properties of all these formats are different. Mainly two forms of phosphorus, red and white phosphorus, are used extensively.
    • White phosphorus is a waxy solid substance that is extremely toxic, it is also called yellow phosphorus. White phosphorous emits a faint white-green glow all the time, it also glows in the dark. If it comes in contact with the skin, it can cause severe burns and wounds. It spontaneously ignites at high temperatures when exposed to air, so it is usually stored under water.
    • Red phosphorus appears as a red powder, is non-toxic, and does not burn when exposed to air like white phosphorus. The density of red phosphorus is 2.34 grams per cubic centimeter.
    • Black phosphorus, also known as purple phosphorus, is a crystalline, flaky solid that looks like graphite and has the same electrical conductivity as graphite. This form of phosphorus is the least active chemically as compared to the other two forms of phosphorus. The density of black phosphorus is 3.56 grams per cubic centimeter.
    • Phosphorus is a chemically very reactive element, so it is not found in nature in its pure state.
    • Phosphorus reacts with all halogens.

    Uses of Phosphorus 

    • Phosphorus is an essential nutrient for plants, so phosphorus is most commonly used in the production of fertilizers.
    • White phosphorus is used in the production of red and black phosphorus.
    • White phosphorus is used in flares and incendiary devices.
    • Red phosphorus is used in matches, firecrackers and insecticides.
    • Phosphorus is essential for all living beings, the sugar-phosphate derived from phosphorus is a major component of DNA and RNA.
    • Phosphoric acid (H3PO4) is used in soft-drinks.
    • Calcium phosphate (Ca3(PO4)2) is used in the production of baking powder.
    • Trisodium phosphate (Na3PO4) is used as a water softener.

    Interesting Facts about Phosphorus

    • Phosphorus is the 11th most abundant element in the Earth's crust.
    • Red phosphorus is produced by heating white phosphorus slowly in the absence of air (vacuum) to a temperature of 250 °C.
    • Black phosphorus is produced by heating white phosphorus in the presence of the catalyst mercury.
    • The compounds formed by the reaction of phosphorus and metals are called phosphides.
    • We take about 1 gram of phosphate compounds daily through food.
    • About 750 grams of phosphate compounds are present in our body, out of which most of the phosphate compounds are present in the form of calcium phosphate in our bones and teeth.
    • According to an estimate, by 2050, our phosphorus reserves will start depleting, after which a serious crisis may arise in the food production sector in the world, because phosphorus is an essential nutrient for plants and it is also a main component of fertilizers.

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