Phosphorus Pentachloride

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Phosphorus Pentachloride:

Phosphorus Pentachloride is one of the most important phosphorus chlorides with the formula PCl5.

Some facts about Phosphorus Pentachloride:


  • Phosphorus Pentachloride is a greenish yellow crystalline solid with an irritating odor.
  • It form hydrochloric and phosphoric acid and heat when decomposed by water.
  • Although commercial samples can be yellowish and contaminated with hydrogen chloride, it is a colourless, water sensitive and moisture sensitive solid.
  • It has a salt like structure in the crystalline state and is partly dissociated in solution, especially in polar solvents such as nitrobenzene.
  • Phosphorus pentachloride almost vaporizes without dissociation in an atmosphere of chlorine gas or phosphorus trichloride.
  • It is a manufacturing agent for other chemicals, aluminum metallurgy, and in the pharmaceutical industry.
  • Phosphorus pentachloride can be used as a chlorinating agent and catalyst for making organic chemicals, intermediates, dyestuffs, etc.
  • It can be used as a catalyst in the manufacture of acetyl cellulose which is the plastic film on which motion pictures are printed.
  • It can also be used as a chlorinating agent in organic chemistry.
  • It is used in the manufacture of penicillin and cephalosporin in pharmaceutical industry.
  • Acid chlorides can be produced by using it and it can be used as a catalyst for cyclization and condensation reactions.
  • An excess of dry chlorine is passed into liquid trichloride to prepare Phosphorus Penta chloride.
  • Solid phosphorus penta chloride is formed when chlorine reacts with phosphorus trichloride.
  • Gaseous HCL will be generated when Phosphorus pentachloride reacts vigorously with water.
  • Phosphorus pentachloride is very reactive as there are axial bonds in addition to equatorial bonds which lie in the same plane.
  • Phosphorus pentachloride is used to produce acid chlorides.
  • Direct exposure to Phosphorus Pentachloride can result in weakness, nausea, headache, dizziness, and vomiting. It may also damage the liver and kidneys.
  • The color of Phosphorus pentachloride can range from white to pale yellow with a pungent odor.
  • One may experience severe irritation and burning of skin and eyes with possible chronic eye damage if an individual comes in contact with Phosphorus Pentachloride.
  • Irritation in the nasal cavity and throat can occur by breathing in Phosphorus Pentachloride.
  • It can cause intense irritation and damage to the lungs resulting in coughing and/or shortness of breath if inhaled deeply.
  • Higher exposure to Phosphorus Pentachloride can lead to fluid build-up in the lungs called pulmonary oedema with severe shortness of breath.
  • Cough, phlegm will be developed in bronchitis when exposured to Phosphorus Pentachloride.

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