These facts may be illustrated with the aid of orthophosphoric acid, which is tribasic: - Acid.
As stated under Phosphorus, phosphoric oxide, P 2 0 5, combines with water in three proportions to form H 2 O P 2 0 5 or HP03, metaphosphoric acid; 2H 2 O P 2 0 5 or H4P207, pyrophosphoric acid; and 3H 2 O P 2 0 5 or H 3 PO 4, orthophosphoric or ordinary phosphoric acid.
Orthophosphoric acid, H3P04, a tribasic acid, is obtained by boiling a solution of the pentoxide in water; by oxidizing, red phosphorus with nitric acid, or yellow phosphorus under the surface of water by bromine or iodine; and also by decomposing a mineral phosphate with sulphuric acid.
Metaphosphoric acid, HP0 3, is a monobasic acid which may be regarded as derived from orthophosphoric acid by the abstraction of one molecule of water, thus H 3 PO 4 - H 2 O = HP0 3; its constitution is therefore (HO)P0 2.
The acid is formed by dissolving phosphorus pentoxide in cold water, or by strongly heating orthophosphoric acid.
On boiling their solutions they yield orthophosphates, whilst those of the heavy metals on boiling with water give a trimetallic orthophosphate and orthophosphoric acid: 3AgP0 3 +3H 2 O=Ag 3 PO 4 +2H 3 PO 4.
Of the phosphotungstic acids the most important is phosphoduodecitungstic acid, H 3 PW, 2040 nH 2 O, obtained in quadratic pyramids by crystallizing mixed solutions of orthophosphoric and metatungstic acids.
It combines violently with sulphur at 160Ã‚° to form phosphorus sulphoxide, P406S4, which forms highly lustrous tetragonal plates (after sublimation), melting at 102Ã‚° and boiling at 295Ã‚°; it is decomposed by water .into sulphuretted hydrogen and metaphosphoric acid, the latter changing on standing into orthophosphoric acid.
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