Hypophosphorous acid

Hypophosphorous acid

[Ralph H. Petrucci, General Chemistry, ninth Edition 2007, p. 946] Chembox new
ImageFile = Hypophosphorous-acid-2D.png ImageSize = 150px
ImageName = Hypophosphorous acid
ImageFile1 = Hypophosphorous-acid-3D-balls.png ImageSize1 = 150px
ImageName1 = Hypophosphorous acid
IUPACName = Phosphinic acid
Section1 = Chembox Identifiers
CASOther = 6303-21-5

Section2 = Chembox Properties
Formula = H3PO2
MolarMass = 66.00 g/mol
Density = 1.274 g/cm3, liquid
Solubility = miscible
MeltingPt = 26.5 °C (299.5 K)
BoilingPt = 106 °C (379 K) "decomp."
pKa = 1.2
Viscosity =

Section3 = Chembox Structure
MolShape = pseudo-tetrahedral
Dipole =

Section7 = Chembox Hazards
ExternalMSDS = [http://www.jtbaker.com/msds/englishhtml/h8468.htm JT Baker]
EUClass = not listed

Section8 = Chembox Related
Function = oxoacids
OtherFunctn = Phosphorous acid
Phosphoric acid
OtherCpds = Sodium hypophosphite
Barium hypophosphite

Hypophosphorous acid is a phosphorus oxoacid and a powerful reducing agent with molecular formula H3PO2. Inorganic chemists refer to the free acid by this name (also as "HPA") although its IUPAC name is dihydridohydroxidooxidophosphorus, or the acceptable name of phosphinic acid. It is a colorless low-melting compound, which is soluble in water, dioxane, and alcohols. The formula for hypophosphorous acid is generally written H3PO2, but a more descriptive presentation is HOP(O)H2 which highlights its monoprotic character. Salts derived from this acid are called hypophosphites.

HOP(O)H2 exists in equilibrium with the minor tautomer HP(OH)2. Sometimes the minor tautomer is called hypophosphorous acid and the major tautomer is called phosphinic acid.

Preparation and availability

The acid is prepared industrially via a two step process. Hypophosphite salts of the alkali and alkaline earth metals result from treatment of white phosphorus with hot aqueous solution of the appropriate hydroxide, e.g. Ca(OH)2. :P4 + 3OH + 3H2O → 3H2PO2 + PH3The free acid may be prepared by the action of a strong acid on these hypophosphite salts.:H2PO2 + H+ → H3PO2

Alternatively, H3PO2 arises by the oxidation of phosphine with iodine in water.:PH3 + 2I2 + 2H2O → H3PO2 + 4I + 4H+

HPA is usually supplied as a 50% aqueous solution.


Hypophosphorous acid is used in the formulation of pharmaceuticals, discoloration of polymers, water treatment, retrieval of precious or non-ferrous metals. Its main use is for electroless plating; i.e. deposition of metal films from solution. In organic chemistry, H3PO2 best known for their use in the reduction of arenediazonium salts, converting ArN2+ to Ar-H.Robison, M. M.; Robison, B. L. (1956). " [http://orgsyn.org/orgsyn/prep.asp?prep=cv4p0947 2,4,6-Tribromobenzoic acid] ". "Org. Synth." 36:94; "Coll. Vol." 4:947.] Kornblum, N. (1941). " [http://orgsyn.org/orgsyn/prep.asp?prep=cv3p0295 3,3'-Dimethoxybiphenyl and 3,3'-dimethylbiphenyl] ". "Org. Synth." 21:30; "Coll. Vol." 3:295.] When diazotized in a concentrated solution of hypophosphorous acid, an amine substituent can be removed from arenes, selectively over alkyl amines.

DEA List I chemical status

Because hypophosphorous acid can reduce elemental iodine to form hydroiodic acid, which is a reagent effective for reducing ephedrine or pseudoephedrine to methamphetamine,Gordon, P.E.; Fry, A.J.; Hicks, L.D. "Further studies on the reduction of benzylic alcohols by hypophosphorous acid/iodine." 23 August 2005. [http://content.arkat-usa.org/ARKIVOC/JOURNAL_CONTENT/manuscripts/2005/EJ-1559CP%20as%20published%20mainmanuscript.pdf ARKIVOC 2005 (vi) 393-400] . ISSN 1424-6376.] the United States Drug Enforcement Administration designated hypophosphorous acid (and its salts) as a List I precursor chemical effective November 16, 2001. [http://frwebgate.access.gpo.gov/cgi-bin/getdoc.cgi?dbname=2001_register&docid=01-26013-filed 66 FR 52670—52675.] 17 October 2001.] Accordingly, handlers of hypophosphorous acid or its salts in the United States are subject to stringent regulatory controls including registration, recordkeeping, reporting, and import/export requirements pursuant to the Controlled Substances Act and 21 CFR §§ 1309 and 1310. [http://www.access.gpo.gov/nara/cfr/waisidx_06/21cfr1309_06.html 21 CFR 1309] ] [http://www.usdoj.gov/dea/pubs/csa.html 21 USC, Chapter 13 (Controlled Substances Act)] ]

Inorganic and organic derivatives

Numerous derivatives are known in which the two hydrogen atoms directly bound to phosphorus are replaced by organic groups. These derivatives are known as phosphinic acids, and their salts as phosphinates. For example, formaldehyde and H3PO2 react to give (HOCH2)2PO2H. The reaction is akin to the addition of thiols and HCN to aldehydes. Similarly, it adds to Michael acceptors, for example with acrylamide it gives H(HO)P(O)CH2CH2C(O)NH2.

Few metal complexes have been prepared from H3PO2, one example is Ni(O2PH2)2.


* [http://www.chemicalland21.com/arokorhi/industrialchem/inorganic/HYPOPHOSPHOROUS%20ACID.htm ChemicalLand21 Listing]
*D. E. C. Corbridge "Phosphorus: An Outline of its Chemistry, Biochemistry, and Technology" 5th Edition Elsevier: Amsterdam. ISBN 0-444-89307-5.
*V. V. Popik, A. G. Wright, T. A. Khan, J. A. Murphy "Hypophosphorous Acid" in Encyclopedia of Reagents for Organic Synthesis (Ed: L. Paquette) 2004, J. Wiley & Sons, New York. DOI: 10.1002/047084289.


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Look at other dictionaries:

  • Hypophosphorous acid — Hypophosphorous Hy po*phos phor*ous, a. [Pref. hypo + phosphorous.] (Chem.) Pertaining to, or containing, phosphorus in a lower state of oxidation than in phosphoric compounds; as, hypophosphorous acid. [1913 Webster] {Hypophosphorous acid} (Chem …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • hypophosphorous acid — [hī΄pō fäs′fə rəs, hī΄pəfäs fôr′əs] n. a monobasic acid of phosphorus, H3PO2: it is a strong reducing agent …   English World dictionary

  • hypophosphorous acid — fosfinato rūgštis statusas T sritis chemija formulė HPH₂O₂ atitikmenys: angl. hypophosphorous acid; phosphinic acid rus. гипофосфористая кислота; фосфинатовая кислота; фосфорноватистая кислота ryšiai: sinonimas – hipofosfito rūgštis sinonimas –… …   Chemijos terminų aiškinamasis žodynas

  • hypophosphorous acid — noun a clear or yellow monobasic acid (H3PO2) • Syn: ↑phosphorous acid, ↑orthophosphorous acid • Hypernyms: ↑oxyacid, ↑oxygen acid * * * “+... noun Etymology …   Useful english dictionary

  • hypophosphorous acid — An aqueous solution containing 31% HPH2O2; used as a stabilizing reducing agent in pharmaceutical preparations. * * * hy·po·phos·pho·rous acid .fäs f(ə )rəs ; fäs .fōr əs , .fȯr n a low melting deliquescent crystalline strong monobasic acid… …   Medical dictionary

  • hypophosphorous acid — a colorless or yellowish, water soluble, liquid, monobasic acid, H3PO2, having a sour odor, and used as a reducing agent. [1810 20] * * * …   Universalium

  • hypophosphorous acid — /haɪpəˌfɒsfərəs ˈæsəd/ (say huypuh.fosfuhruhs asuhd) noun a monobasic acid of phosphorus, H3PO2 …   Australian English dictionary

  • hypophosphorous acid — noun A pale yellow liquid, HPO, used as a reducing agent. See Also: hypophosphite …   Wiktionary

  • Hypophosphorous — Hy po*phos phor*ous, a. [Pref. hypo + phosphorous.] (Chem.) Pertaining to, or containing, phosphorus in a lower state of oxidation than in phosphoric compounds; as, hypophosphorous acid. [1913 Webster] {Hypophosphorous acid} (Chem.), an acid,… …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • hypophosphorous — /huy peuh fos feuhr euhs, fos fawr euhs, fohr /, adj. of or derived from hypophosphorous acid. [1810 20; HYPO + PHOSPHOROUS] * * * …   Universalium

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