Phosphorus oxychloride

Phosphoryl chloride, also called phosphorus oxychloride, contains the strong P=O solid bond. Phosphorus oxychloride is a colourless volatile liquid with a pungent odour; specific gravity 1.67; melting at 2 C; boiling at 105 C.

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Detailed Description for Phosphorus oxychloride

Phosphoryl chloride, also called phosphorus oxychloride, contains the strong P=O solid bond. Phosphorus oxychloride is a colourless volatile liquid with a pungent odour; specific gravity 1.67; melting at 2 C; boiling at 105 C. The liquid reacts with water violently to produce hydrochloric and phosphoric acid. It reacts exothermically with alcohols and/or phenols to produce phosphate esters. Phosphorus oxychloride is produced by oxidizing phosphorus trichloride or by reacting phosphorus pentachloride with phosphorus pentoxide. It has a distorted tetrahedral shape and can act as a donor towards metal ions to give rise to a series of complexes.

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 pebbles or 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 reddish 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

colourless liquid
MELTING POINT

1.25 C

BOILING POINT

105.8 C

SPECIFIC GRAVITY 1.645
SOLUBILITY Exothermic reaction with water
pH  
VAPOR DENSITY 5.3

AUTOIGNITION

 

NFPA RATINGS

Health: 3 Flammability: 0 Reactivity: 2 Other: Water reactive

REFRACTIVE INDEX

 

FLASH POINT Non-combustible
STABILITY Stable under ordinary conditions

 

It is used in the manufacture of phosphate esters widely used in plasticizers, hydraulic fluids, lube oil additives, pesticides, and flame retardants. Triarylphosphate esters such as triphenyl phosphate and tricresyl phosphate are esters converted from phosphorus oxychloride. These esters are used as flame retardants and plasticisers. Tributyl phosphate ester is used as a liquid-liquid extraction solvent. Phosphorus oxychloride is used as a catalyst and chlorinating agent in the synthesis of target molecules.


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