Orthophosphoric Acid, CAS 7664-38-2

Orthophosphoric acid is also known as phosphoric acid according to IUPAC. The scientists add the prefix ortho-, in order to differentiate it from polyphosphoric acids. The other names of the compound are trihydroxylphosphine oxide and trihydroxidooxidophosphorus. This is an inorganic chemical non-toxic, however corrosive to human tissues. It has multiple uses in industry, as well as in chemistry.


Here is the brief description of physical and chemical properties of the phosphoric acid. Chemical formula of the compound is H3PO4, CAS № 7664-38-2. When pure, it is a crystalline solid at room temperature and normal pressure. Less concentrated, it is a viscous liquid without color or odor. The melting point of solid is 42.35oC. The compound is easily soluble in water and ethanol. The most popular are 85% solutions of this chemical, however, weaker or pure substances are also available for sale.

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There are two main methods of industrial fabrication of the chemical: the wet process and the thermal process. The wet process is dominating in commercial sector. The compound of high purity is usually made from white phosphorus, the crude – from phosphate rock.

Preparation and Application

Phosphoric acid has a broad variety of uses and applications. For example, it is used:

  • in dental cements;
  • to acidify beverages and food;
  • to remove rust from iron or steel;
  • to clean teeth surfaces;
  • in fertilizers manufacture;
  • in cosmetics fabrication;
  • as pH adjuster, etc.

The substance is corrosive to skin and may cause eye damage. That is why, one must not forget about personal protective kit. Orthophosphoric acid is neither combustible, nor flammable. It should be stored above +15oC, away from certain metals, strong oxidizers and bases. In other case, violent reaction with splattering of dangerous chemicals may be caused.