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The number of water molecules needed to convert one molecule of \[{{\text{P}}_{\text{2}}}{{\text{O}}_{\text{5}}}\]into orthophosphoric acid is ______________.

Last updated date: 27th Feb 2024
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IVSAT 2024
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Hint:The ortho phosphoric acid has 3 hydroxy groups and one oxo group whereas \[{{\text{P}}_{\text{2}}}{{\text{O}}_{\text{5}}}\]has 4 oxo groups.

Complete step by step answer:
Ortho phosphoric acid has the formula \[{{\text{H}}_{\text{3}}}{\text{P}}{{\text{O}}_{\text{4}}}\]containing 3 hydroxy groups and one oxo group.
The phosphorus pentoxide,\[{{\text{P}}_{\text{2}}}{{\text{O}}_{\text{5}}}\]can be converted into ortho phosphoric acid by using 3 molecules of water.
${P_2}{O_5} + 3{H_2}O \to 2{H_3}P{O_4}$
This can be shown in detail by following steps showing how each molecule of water gets used to convert phosphorus pentoxide to ortho phosphoric acid. Phosphorous pentoxide,\[{{\text{P}}_{\text{2}}}{{\text{O}}_{\text{5}}}\], reacts with one molecule of water and gets converted to meta Phosphoric acid (\[{{\text{H}}_{\text{3}}}{\text{P}}{{\text{O}}_{\text{3}}}\]).
\[{P_2}{O_5} + {H_2}O \to 2HP{O_3}\]
The meta Phosphoric acid (\[{{\text{H}}_{\text{3}}}{\text{P}}{{\text{O}}_{\text{3}}}\]) formed reacts with another molecule of water and pyro phosphoric acid(\[{{\text{H}}_{\text{4}}}{{\text{P}}_{\text{2}}}{{\text{O}}_{\text{7}}}\]).
\[2HP{O_3} + {H_2}O \to {H_4}{P_2}{O_7}\]
The pyro phosphoric acid(\[{{\text{H}}_{\text{4}}}{{\text{P}}_{\text{2}}}{{\text{O}}_{\text{7}}}\]) formed reacts with another molecule of water and we finally get the ortho phosphoric acid,\[{{\text{H}}_{\text{3}}}{\text{P}}{{\text{O}}_{\text{4}}}\].
\[{H_4}{P_2}{O_7} + {H_2}O \to {H_3}P{O_3}\]
Therefore, the number of water molecules needed to convert one molecule of\[{{\text{P}}_{\text{2}}}{{\text{O}}_{\text{5}}}\]into orthophosphoric acid is 3.
So, the correct option is B.

Additional Information: Phosphorous pentoxide,\[{{\text{P}}_{\text{2}}}{{\text{O}}_{\text{5}}}\]is a good dehydrating agent that can remove water molecule under suitable conditions. Ortho phosphoric acid,\[{{\text{H}}_{\text{3}}}{\text{P}}{{\text{O}}_{\text{4}}}\] is a mineral acid that can remove rust and also used in processed foods.

The number of water molecules in a compound depends on the hydroxyl group present in the desired molecule. The hydroxyl group will easily abstract protons from water and molecules can be converted with ease.