Phosphorus & Its Compounds

Allotropic forms : Phosphorus has several allotropes among which the following are important :

I. White phosphorus : It’s a translucent white waxy solid. Its properties are as follows:

1.It is poisonous.

2. It is insoluble in water but soluble in carbon disulphide.

3. It glows in dark and this characteristic is called chemiluminescence.

4. White phosphorus is more reactive than other allotropes in the solid state due to angular strain in P4 molecule in which the bond angle is 600 and so it is less stable.

II. Red Phosphorus : When white phosphorus is heated at the temperature level of 573K for several days, we get red phosphorus. It has following properties:

1. Red phosphorus is a solid with iron grey lustre.

2. It’s odourless and non poisonous.

3. It is non soluble in water as well as carbon disulphide.

4. It doesn’t glow in dark.

5. Red phosphorus is much less reactive than white phosphorus.

6. It is polymeric which contains 4 phosphorus atoms in a chain like structure.

II. Red Phosphorus : When red phosphorus is heated under high pressure, a series of phases of black phosphorus are formed. Its properties are as follows:

1. It has two forms α-black & β-black. α-black phosphorus is formed when red phosphorus is heated in a sealed tube at the temperature level of 803K. β-black phosphorus is formed by heating white phosphorus under high pressure at 473K.

2. It doesn’t burn in air upto 673K.

3. It sublimes in air .

Compounds of phosphorus :

1. PH3-Posphine : Phosphine (IUPAC name: Phosphane) is a poisonous gas which was discovered Gembre in 1783.

Preparation : When calcium phosphide is treated with water or dilute HCl, phosphine is produced.

Ca3P2 + 6H2O → 3Ca(OH)2 + 2PH3

Ca3P2 + 6HCl → 3CaCl2 + 2PH3

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