Related topics: nitrogen

Fertilizer sourced from sewage sludge

Germany's new Waste and Sewage Sludge Ordinance requires large sewage treatment plants to recover phosphates from sewage sludge or ashes as of 2032. Conventional recovery technologies are costly and chemical-laden. A new ...

Life could have emerged from lakes with high phosphorus

Life as we know it requires phosphorus. It's one of the six main chemical elements of life, it forms the backbone of DNA and RNA molecules, acts as the main currency for energy in all cells and anchors the lipids that separate ...

Technique to recover phosphorus from urine

Phosphorus, number 15 on the periodic table, can be highly toxic and flammable and has been used in warfare as an incendiary device, yet it is also essential for life.

Illinois study proposes circular phosphorus economy for Midwest

The U.S. Midwest produces at least a third of the world's corn and soybean supply each year. Feeding the world requires a lot of fertilizer, mostly in the form of nitrogen and phosphorus. While nitrogen can literally be pulled ...

Helping plant nurseries reduce runoff

You may have heard how excess nutrients, such as phosphorus, can run off of crop fields. This can cause harm when the nutrients end up in rivers and lakes. However, there are other sources of excess nutrients you might not ...

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Phosphorus

Phosphorus (pronounced /ˈfɒsfərəs/) is the chemical element that has the symbol P and atomic number 15. A multivalent nonmetal of the nitrogen group, phosphorus is commonly found in inorganic phosphate rocks. Elemental phosphorus exists in two major forms - white phosphorus and red phosphorus. Although the term "phosphorescence", meaning glow after illumination, derives from phosphorus, glow of phosphorus originates from oxidation of the white (but not red) phosphorus and should be called chemiluminescence.

Due to its high reactivity, phosphorus is never found as a free element in nature on Earth. The first form of phosphorus to be discovered (white phosphorus, discovered in 1669) emits a faint glow upon exposure to oxygen — hence its name given from Greek mythology, Φωσφόρος meaning "light-bearer" (Latin Lucifer), referring to the "Morning Star", the planet Venus.

Phosphorus is a component of DNA, RNA, ATP, and also the phospholipids which form all cell membranes. It is thus an essential element for all living cells. The most important commercial use of phosphorus-based chemicals is the production of fertilizers.

Phosphorus compounds are also widely used in explosives, nerve agents, friction matches, fireworks, pesticides, toothpaste and detergents.

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