RHYS LEWIS & MINH TAN PHAM, AHS, DECD, UNISA / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY RHYS LEWIS & MINH TAN PHAM, AHS, DECD, UNISA / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY
Water being poured on a watch glass containing dry phosphorus pentoxide. Phosphorus pentoxide is a powerful dehydrating agent, which reacts exothermically with water, giving off so much heat that some water is lost as steam. The reaction produces phosphoric acid. Phosphorus pentoxide is such a powerful dehydrating agent that it is used to remove water even from molecules to which the oxygen is tightly bound, such as amides, which feature a carbon-oxygen double bond.
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