Phosphorus was first discovered by Hennig Brandt in 1669. Brandt found phosphorus by heating concentrated urine with sand. Brandt collected the heated product under water which was a waxy substance.
What is Phosphorus?
Phosphorus is a chemical element that is part of the nitrogen family. Phosphorus can be identified on the periodic table of element by the symbol P.
Where do we find Phosphorus?
Phosphorus is found in every living organism.
Phosphorus is found in our Lakes, river and streams.
Phosphorus is found in vegetable, fruits, and meats.
Phosphorus allotropic forms
Does not occur naturally
Soft, very reactive
Consists of P 4 molecules
So unstable that it turns yellow
Reddens when hit by light
Glows in the dark making Phosphorescence
Stored underwater to isolate from air
White Phosphorus Uses
Production of phosphoric acid and other chemicals
Additives in foods and drinks
White Phosphorus Hazards
A poison that can be absorb through skin contact, ingestion, or breathing.
Removes oxygen from the air
Highly explosive if mixed with other chemicals
Red phosphorus formed by exposing white phosphorus to sunlight or heating to 275°c
Not has explosive as white
Used to make matches, tracer bullets, pesticides, fire bombs, and fire works
Black phosphorus formed by heating white phosphorus 225°c
Black phosphorus formed by heating white phosphorus, but a mercury catalyst and a seed crystal of black phosphorus is needed.
Least reactive form of Phosphorus
Glows in the dark
Since it’s discovery phosphorescence has been used to describe substances that glow in the dark without burning
No significant commercial uses
Phosphorus goes through a cycle when it enter our river and lakes.
Concentrated Animal Feeding Operations Definition
Concentrated Feeding Operations is where animals are kept and raised in confined situations. Animals kept in a confined space for 45 days or more and not allowed to graze for food. It is illegal to spread manure of a CAFO animal where it moves off the land and into waters of the state. CAFO is loaded with plant nutrient nitrogen and phosphorus.
CAFO Impact on Ground Water
E. coli poisoning
Blue baby syndrome
Cryptosporidium parasite infection
North Carolina has develop a site- specific P indexing system that is called Phosphorus Loss assessment Tool. This helps North Carolina to see how much phosphorus is lost in the agricultural fields. A study was done on 100 counties that were sampled in North Carolina. This was to see how many farms would have to make changes under the PLAT act.
How Phosphorus gets into our lakes and river.
Runoff from roads
Residential lawns with high phosphorus fertilizer
What you can do to stop excess phosphorus in ground and surface water
Use fertilizers sparingly
Use phosphorus free detergents
Plant ground cover in bare spots in your yard
Take car to car wash instead of washing in the driveway
Pick up after your pet
Don’t use CAFO manure for fertilizer
The schematic diagram below highlights the complexity of soil P chemistry.