Who Discovered Phosphorus?


Quick Answer

Henning Brand discovered phosphorous by boiling, filtering and processing buckets of urine. It was discovered in 1669, and it is now extracted and processed from phosphate rock.

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Full Answer

There are three allotropes of phosphorous.

White phosphorous is poisonous and can ignite when it is exposed to air. Red phosphorous is white phosphorous that has been heated at high temperatures or exposed to sunlight. Red phosphorous is not poisonous or as dangerous as white phosphorous. Black phosphorous is created by heating white phosphorous with a mercury catalyst and a seed crystal of black phosphorous present. Black phosphorous has no commercial use and is the least reactive of the forms of phosphorous.

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