It is decomposed by water, and with a solution of yellow phosphorus in carbon bisulphide it gives a red powder of composition PBI 2, which sublimes in vacuo at 210° C. to red crystals, and when heated in a current of hydrogen loses its iodine and leaves a residue of boron phosphide PB.
Its own phosphide), which possesses valuable properties.
Phosphuretted hydrogen, one of the most important impurities, which has been blamed for the haze formed by the combustion of acetylene under certain conditions, is produced by the action of water upon traces of calcium phosphide found in carbide.
Calcium phosphide, Ca 3 P 2, is obtained as a reddish substance by passing phosphorus vapour over strongly heated lime.
A phosphide, PCr, is known; it burns in oxygen forming the phosphate.