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What is Phosphorous Trichloride?

Phosphorous trichloride is a popular chemical compound that is majorly used in the production of organophosphorus substance for chemical industries. The chemical formula for the compound is given as the PCl3 and its molecular weight is calculated 137.33 g mol-1 approx. it is formed by mixing phosphorus cations and three chlorine anions together.

Phosphorous Trichloride structure

It has a trigonal pyramidal geometry and its chemical structure could be given as below.

Phosphorous Trichloride chemical Formula

It is not found in nature, so it is prepared synthetically. It is usually prepared from the yellow or white phosphorus gas chlorine. To add the actual compound, you should more phosphorus to the mixture.

P4 + 6 Cl2 → 4 PCl3

Phosphorous Trichloride Properties

When we look at the physical properties, this is a colorless, yellow liquid with a pungent smell. The melting and boiling points for the chemical compound are written as -93.6 ºC and 76.1 ºC and its density is calculated 1.574 g mL-1 approx. it is soluble in benzene and had an interesting chemical behavior.

It could react with redox reactions and other phosphorus compounds. It can as a nucleophile too for many reactions like Lewis acid or more. Furthermore, it accepts more electrons so it could be used as an electrophile too.

It is widely used in chemical industries and majorly used for the production of pesticides, gasoline, additives, plastics, textiles, medicinal products etc. it can be used as an intermediate for some chemical reactions like witting reaction. It can cause severe damage to skin or eyes when used in an excess amount.