This Literature Discussion LO was created for the ACS Inorganic Chemistry Award Winners. Dr. Kit Cummins was the recipient of the 2023 Frederick Hawthorne Award in Main Group Inorganic Chemistry. This LO is based on a recent paper from the group of Dr. Cummins, entitled "Sustainable Production of Reduced Phosphorus Compounds: Mechanochemical Hydride Phosphorylation Using Condensed Phosphates as a Route to Phosphite", published in ACS Central Science, 2022, 8, 332-339. Link
Further background info about the phosphorus industry and phosphorus chemistry is found in a review entitled "Let's Make White Phosphorus Obsolete", published in ACS Central Science, 2020, 6, 848-860. Link
The history of the discovery of the element phosphorus is the subject of the book “The 13th Element: The Sordid Tale of Murder, Fire, and Phosphorus” by John Emsley.
After carrying out this literature discussion, students will be able to:
- Assign oxidation states to P in various compounds
- Discuss allotropes of elemental phosphorus and their properties
- Discuss how white phosphorus is made and how it affects the environment
- Discuss the benefits of mechanochemistry compared to solution-based methods
- Discuss the mechansisms of hydride transfer to various phosphate-containing species.
This LO has not been used yet, but we recommend assigning these problems for the students before class, so that they come prepared to discuss the paper in class.
Has not been implemented yet, but we recommend having students submit a hard copy of their answers after the discussion is over. That way, they can revise their answers after the class discussion.