Oxides of Phosphorus

Oxides of Phosphorus

Oxides of Phosphorus:

The important oxides of Phosphorus are 

(i) Phosphorus trioxide : P2O3 or P4O6
(ii) Phosphorus tetraoxide : P2O4 or P4O8
(iii) Phosphorus pentaoxide : P2O5 or P4O10
  1. Phosphorus (iii) Oxides: P4O6


    Phosphorus in limited supply of air gives phosphorus trioxide.

    P+ 3O P4O6



    1. Phosphorus trioxide is a waxy soft white solid with garlic odour.

    2. P4O6 burns in air to give P4O10

      P4O6 + 2O2  P4O10

    3. P4O6 is acidic oxide which on hydrolysis gives acid.

      P4O+ 6H2 4H3PO3

      P4O+ 6H2 3H3PO+ PH3

  2. Phosphorus (v) Oxide - Phosphorus pentaoxide (P4O10)


    Phosphorus when reacted with excess of oxygen gives phosphorus pentaoxide.

    P+ 5O(excess)  P4O10



    1. P4O10 is a white hydroscopic powder. Due to its great affinity for water, it is used as a drying agent.

    2. P4O10 is acidic in nature and gives acid in water.

      P4O10 + 6H2O (cold)  4HPO3

      P4O10 + 6H2O (hot)  4H3PO4

    3. P4O10 on heating with carbon, it is reduced to phosphorus.

      P4O10 + 10C  P+ 10CO

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