Aluminium Phosphide

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Information @ a Glance

General

  • Aluminum phosphide is a dark gray or dry, yellow, crystalline solid. Aluminum phosphide reacts with moisture to give phosphine, a flammable and poisonous gas.
  • Normally, phosphine will spontaneously ignite upon contact with air. If there is an excess of water, the phosphine fire will not normally ignite any surrounding combustible material.
  • Aluminum phosphide is a reducing agent. Contact with mineral acids causes explosive evolution of toxic phosphine .
  • Heating produces highly toxic fumes of phosphorus oxides. Can react vigorously upon contact with oxidizing agents.
  • Current trade or other names include Fastphos, Fumitoxin, Gastoxin, Max- Kill, Phosfume, Phostoxin and Weevilcide. Al-phos, Celphide, Celphine, Celphos, Detia-Gas-Ex, and Quick Tox may have been used in previous formulations

Preparation

  • Aluminium phosphide is manufactured by reacting Aluminium and Phosphorus in a closed chamber. Aluminium phosphide is formed, instantaneously liberating heat of reaction. The Aluminium phosphide thus obtained, is reduced to required size, blended with inert ingredients and converted into various tablets and pouches.
  • During the course of reaction, P2O5 fumes (as H3PO4 mist) generated, which are pass through scrubber, followed with mist eliminator so as to control the emission of pollutants. Also, dilute phosphoric acid is generated as a by-product by the industrial units.

Toxicity

  • Phostoxin and aluminum phosphide are not absorbed dermally; main routes of exposure are through ingestion and inhalation . They are highly toxic via both these routes.
  • Aluminum phosphide ingested orally reacts with water and stomach acids to produce phosphine gas, which may account in a large part for observed toxicity . Phosphine generated in the gastrointestinal tract is readily absorbed into the bloodstream, and it is readily absorbed through the lung epithelium.
  • Phosphine may cause denaturing of oxyhemeglobin (the carrier for systemic distribution of oxygen) as well as enzymes important for respiration and metabolism, and may also have effects on cellular membranes . Inhaled aluminum phosphide dust undergoes the same reaction in the moist air sacs of the lung, although at a lower rate, resulting in similar local and systemic effects .
  • Symptoms of mild to moderate acute aluminum phosphide toxicity include nausea, abdominal pain, tightness in chest, excitement, restlessness, agitation and chills . Symptoms of more severe toxicity include, diarrhea, cyanosis, difficulty breathing, pulmonary edema, respiratory failure, tachycardia (rapid pulse) and hypotension (low blood pressure), dizziness and/or death .
  • Convulsions have been reported in lab animals exposed to high concentrations of phosphine . Severe exposure may also result in proteinuria or glucosuria (low molecular weight proteins or glucose in the urine) indicating kidney damage.

Fire fighting measures

  • Extinguishing media : Dry chemical. Sand.
  • Not usable extinguishing media : Do not use extinguishing media containing water.
  • Special procedures : Exercise caution when fighting any chemical fire. Avoid (reject) fire-fighting sand or dry chemical to enter environment.
  • Hazardous thermal : Burning may produce: very toxic vapours/gases.

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