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What is the formula for phosphorus trichloride?

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Quick Answer

The chemical formula for phosphorous trichloride is Cl3P. This formula is apparent from the compound's name; trichloride means that there are three chlorine atoms, and phosphorous without a prefix means there is a single phosphorous atom.

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Full Answer

Phosphorous trichloride is a hazardous chemical that can cause eye, skin and respiratory damage. The chemical is used predominantly for industrial purposes, such as creating insecticides, oil additives and flame retardants.

The most common way to synthesize phosphorous trichloride is by heating a combination of phosphorous and chlorine at a rate of two phosphorous atoms for every three molecules of Cl2. After heating, the gas is captured, and the condensation is collected as phosphorous trichloride.

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