Which isotope of phosphorus is kept under water?


White phosphorus reacts vigorously with oxygen and so it should be stored underwater. Phosphorus occurs in two main forms: white phosphorus and red phosphorus, but it is never present as a free element on Earth due to its high reactivity.

Phosphorus (P)

Phosphorus is a chemical element with an atomic number of 15, which means that the atomic structure includes 15 protons and 15 electrons.

  • White phosphorus is insoluble in water and is therefore stored underwater to prevent oxidation.
  • White phosphorus is luminous in the dark, poisonous and flammable, igniting spontaneously in the air unless stored underwater.
  • When white phosphorus exposed to atmosphere it reacts with oxygen to produce P4O10.

P4 + 5O2 → P4O10

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