Questions and Answers

Issue 3 and Volume 86.

Questions and Answers NOTE—Readers are invited to send in questions, which will be answered in the order received. Names are omitted from questions unless otherwise specified Storage of Phosphorus To the Editor: What precautions should attend the storage of elemental white or yellow phosphorous contained in metal drums and kept in an alkaline solution? S. W. W. Answer: Yellow and white phosphorus act very much the same. There are two allotropic forms of phosphorus, yellow phosphorus and red phosphorus. White phosphorus is a yellow, semi-transparent, wax-like solid, insoluble in water, soluble in carbon disulphide, and slightly soluble in alcohol and ether. It ignites spontaneously in air, burning slowly at 50° F., and brightly at 140° F., forming dense clouds of white smoke consisting of phosphoric anhydride. It is very poisonous. On account of its prompt ignition on exposure to air, the material is dangerous. It must be handled under water.…

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