Micro Life Zone
Asked by luke to Darren, Krystal, Lee, Tara, Upulie on 15 Jun 2011.
Keywords: chemical, handled, phosphorous, phosphorus
I haven’t handled white phosphorus – that’s the most unstable kind that bursts into flames if it is exposed to the air. I have worked with solid sodium, that can have the same effect, but is a bit less dangerous.
But I do work with phosphoric acid quite a bit! It has a pH less than 1, and can eat though clothes and skin. Of course, I wear protective gloves and glasses when I do!
No in the lab and not in a pure form, but I use it all the time to start fires.
Matches work by having red phosphorus in the striker on the side of the box, and an oxidiser in the match head. When you rub the two together they mix and the rubbing adds some heat and the phosphorus catches fire.
Not in its purest form because as Krystal and Lee said, it’s pretty dangerous stuff!
But in solutions and compounds containing phosphorus, then yes.
Nasty stuff!! Just exposing it to air cause it to burst onto flames. I use loads of chemical compounds that contain phosphorous, no problem there.
By BRIDGE8 under license from Mangorolla CIC 2023