iphosphorus pentoxide is so called because of its empirical formula P2
, as should be expected of any element in oxidation number +5.
In fact, later research shows that it is made up of molecules with formula P4
, so may be called tetraphosphorus decoxide, but for most purposes, this is irrelevant; the historical name and formula have stuck.
Diphosphorus pentoxide is an extremely good dehydrating agent. When combined with a carboxylic acid, the result is an anhydride.
Conditions/substances to avoid when dealing with diphoshorus pentoxide are: moisture, ammonia, calcium oxide
, chlorine trifluoride, hydrogen fluoride, oxygen difluoride, perchloric acid, chloroform, potassium, propargyl alcohol, sodium, sodium carbonate, sodium hydroxide, thallium(I) carbonate and water.
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