Orthophosphoric acid can dimerize on dehydration - True or False?
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The correct option is ATrue When phosphoric acid is dehydrated pyrophosphoric acid is produced as one of the products. The structure of pyrophosphoric acid is as shown below. As you can see,H4P2O7 can be construed as two phosphoric acid molecules dimerized by dehydration and removal of only one water molecule.
In fact, molten pyrophosphoric acid quickly establishes an equilibrium with a mixture of phosphoric acid, pyrophosphoric acid and polyphosphoric acids. Polyphosphoric acids are obtained when more than one water molecule is removed via dehydration giving us a chain of phosphoric acid molecules It is too simplistic to say that: H4P2O7+H2O⇌2H3PO4 But the above reaction is achievable for dilute pyrophosphoric acid solutions. So, yes orthophosphoric acid can be dimerized on dehydration (as is evident from the above equilibrium reaction).