What is the source of Phosphoric Acid?

-Textbook question.

Help ASAP would be appricated!

When they say source do they mean how it's created? Becuase that was the question after that, " HOw is it prepared"

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  • 1 decade ago
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    Phosphoric Acid, chemical formula H3PO4, common acid of phosphorus that is the source of industrially important compounds called phosphates. At room temperature, phosphoric acid is a crystalline material with a specific gravity of 1.83. The solid melts at 42.35° C (108.23° F). Phosphoric acid is usually stored and sold as a solution. Phosphoric acid is made by treating calcium phosphate rock with sulfuric acid, followed by filtration of the resultant liquid to remove calcium sulfate. It can be prepared also by burning phosphorus vapor and treating the resulting oxide with steam. The acid is useful in the laboratory because of its resistance to oxidation, to reduction, and to evaporation. Among the many uses of phosphoric acid are as an ingredient in soft drinks and dental cements, as a catalyst, in rustproofing metals, and in making phosphates, which are used in water softeners, fertilizers, and detergents.

    II Phosphates

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    Phosphates are products formed by the replacement of some or all of the hydrogen of a phosphoric acid by metals. Depending on the number of hydrogen atoms that are replaced, the resulting compound is described as a primary, secondary, or tertiary phosphate. For example, NaH2PO 4, with one hydrogen atom replaced, is called primary sodium phosphate; Na 3PO4, with three hydrogen atoms replaced, is called tertiary sodium phosphate. Also known as trisodium phosphate, tertiary sodium phosphate is valuable as a detergent and water softener (see Detergents). Primary and secondary phosphates contain hydrogen and are acid salts. Secondary and tertiary phosphates, with the exception of those of sodium, potassium and ammonium, are insoluble in water; the primary phosphates are more soluble.

    Phosphates are important to metabolism in both plants and animals. Bones contain calcium phosphate, Ca3 (PO4)2, and the first step in the oxidation of glucose in the body is formation of a phosphate ester (see Esters). To provide cattle with phosphate, dicalcium phosphate, CaHPO4· 2H2O, is used as a food supplement. Primary calcium phosphate, Ca(H 2PO4)2, is an ingredient of plant fertilizers.

    Increasing attention has been focused on the environmentally harmful effects of phosphates in household detergents. Wastewater from laundering agents containing phosphates is known to be a water pollutant because phosphates are a primary nutrient of algae; when it grows in excess, algae can choke a lake or river and draw off needed oxygen from aquatic life.

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