Yellow phosphorus appears as a colorless wax-type crystal that is accompanied with a garlic scent. It is insoluble in water, easily soluble in fat, carbon disulfide, and other organic solvents. Spontaneous combustion in air at room temperature and oxidizes into diphosphorus trioxide and phosphorus pentoxide. It is an extremely toxic chemical that has a lethal dose of 50 - 100 mg. This form must be stored under water as it burns rapidly and is spontaneously combustible upon exposure to air.
Phosphorus-containing compounds are widely used in the agricultural industry as fertilizers.
For its manufacturing, phosphate-containing minerals are converted to phosphoric acid through two different methods, the main one being treatment of phosphate minerals with sulfuric acid.
2 Ca3(PO4)2 + 6 SiO2 + 10 C → 6 CaSiO3 + 10 CO + P4
(Phosphate rock + gravel + cokes → slag + carbon monoxide + phosphorus)
Yellow phosphorus is used as a raw material for baking powder and used to improve on the quality of processed meat and cheese.
Yellow phosphorus is used in the manufacture of fertilizers.
Yellow phosphorus is used in the making of phosphor bronze, and in many other related products.
Yellow phosphorus is used as smoke screen and tracer ammunition in military industrial products and used in cleaning agents to prevent pipe or boiler tube from corroding. It is also used in laboratories as radioactive tracers.