Compounds of Phosphorous - Phosphorous trichloride

Phosphorous is essential for life

For starters, it is a structural element in DNA and RNA.

Then again phosphorous is friendly with the farmers: phosphorous compounds can be used as fertilizers for plants.

Where on one hand they are essential for life on earth;

On the other hand, some compounds of phosphorous are fatal.

An example of such a phosphorous compound is .

Let us discuss this lethal compound: phosphorous trichloride in detail.

Let us start with its preparation.

can be prepared by passing dry chlorine over a heated white phosphorus.

It can also be obtained as a result of the reaction of thionyl chloride with White Phosphorus.

Moving on, let us look at the structure of phosphorous trichloride.

In , every P-Cl bond is equal in length and Phosphorous is sp3 hybridized.

Thus, has a pyramidal shape.

Next look at a few properties of phosphorous trichloride.

is a colourless and oily liquid.

It hydrolysis in the presence of moisture.

This compound can be used in preparation of several other important organic compounds.

It reacts with organic compounds containing –OH group.

For instance, it can react with to give .

Or it can also react with to give .

As phosphorous trichloride is very reactive and toxic, it is kept in Schlenk's flask in laboratories.

Schlenk's flask prevents it from getting in contact with air and water.

Revision

is a colourless oily liquid with a pyramidal structure.

It can be prepared by passing dry chlorine over heated white phosphorus.

It can also be obtained as a result of the reaction of thionyl chloride with White Phosphorus.

It reacts with organic compounds containing -OH bond to form acyl chlorides or haloalkanes.

The End !