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phosphorus chloride is a toxic and explosive inorganic compound with the chemical formula PCl3. It is a highly reactive substance that shows explosivity when it reacts with water.
It is a strong poison and irritates the eyes, skin and mucous membranes. It also generates severe burns to the skin and eyes if inhaled or swallowed.
The toxic effect of phosphorus chloride is caused by the reaction between its two components, phosphorus and chlorine. It is a very toxic material and has many uses as an industrial chemical.
Commonly used in the production of dialkyl h-phosphonates. This is the basis of herbicides, insecticides and plasticizers, as well as oil additives and flame retardants.
During production of dialkyl phosphonates, PCl3 reacts with a chlorination agent such as sodium hydroxide to produce a chlorinated organic acid. The resulting organic acids are polymerized to form the desired polymer by Friedel-Crafts reactions.
The reactivity of PCl3 can be influenced by the oxidation state of the phosphorus atoms. The phosphorus atoms in PCl3 are typically in the +3 oxidation state, while the chlorine atoms are usually in the -1 oxidation state.
Because of the presence of a single lone pair in PCl3, it behaves as a nucleophile and can give its lone pairs to electron deficient compounds. It can also act as an electrophile because of the empty d orbital.
The first contact between phosphorus trichloride and the water component of the tissues causes the chemical to react violently with the tissue and produce dense hydrogen chloride gas and phosphorus oxyacid vapors. The hydride ions and phosphorus oxyacid ions from these compounds are quickly excreted by the kidneys.