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Give Reasons for the Following: Red Phosphorus is Less Reactive than White Phosphorus. - Chemistry

Give reasons for the following:

Red phosphorus is less reactive than white phosphorus.

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Solution

Presence of angular strain in any molecule can make it reactive. Such angular strain is found in the white phosphorous P4 molecule where the angles are only 60° making it more reactive. Also, white phosphorous is made of discrete tetrahedral P4 molecules while red phosphorus is consist of chains of P4 tetrahedra linked together. Hence, on the basis of these facts, it can be concluded that red phosphorus is less reactive than white phosphorus.

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