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Why is phosphorus stored in water?
A. It is very reactive
B. It does not react with water
C. It reacts with air and catches fire
D. All of the above

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Last updated date: 15th Jun 2024
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Answer
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Hint: Phosphorus is a chemical element represented by the symbol P having atomic number 15. It is one of the important elements which is essential for life. Phosphates are components of DNA, RNA, ATP and phospholipids.

Complete answer:
Phosphorus generally exists in two allotropes where allotropes defines the property of an element to exist in two or more different forms in the same physical state and its two allotropes are white phosphorus and red phosphorus. The most important form of phosphorus is white phosphorus which is often abbreviated as WP. It is a soft, waxy solid which consists of tetrahedral ${{P}_{4}}$molecules. It is generally less stable in nature and due to its less stability it becomes very much reactive and easily catches fire when react with oxygen present in the air and gives white dense fumes of ${{P}_{4}}{{O}_{10}}$and the reaction can be shown as follows:
${{P}_{4}}+5{{O}_{2}}\to {{P}_{4}}{{O}_{10}}$
Due to this reason phosphorus is kept in water to avoid oxidation by the oxygen present in the air and it is also insoluble in water.
Hence we can say that option C is the correct answer.

Note:
Elemental phosphorus was first discovered from human urine and bone ash which was an important phosphorus source. Phosphate is generally used as fertilizers other than this organophosphorus compounds are used in detergents and pesticides.