F-Zero Match Factory
F-Zero Match Factory

Why Don't Safety Matches Use White Phosphorus?

Before, matches were indispensable in daily life. Match is a tool that can be easily used for igniting by utilizing the principle of heat generation caused by friction of objects and the chemical activity of strong oxidants and reducers. Those who have learned chemistry know that white phosphorus and red phosphorus are allotropes of the same element. Safety matches do not use white phosphorus. Why? Let's explore the reasons together with Nanle Ark!


In chemical experiments or the production of safety matches, red phosphorus is generally used


Because red phosphorus is non-toxic and does not self-ignite. The ignition point of safety matches made with red phosphorus is above 200℃ (about 260℃) and it burns in oxygen to form white powdery solid penta-phosphorus oxide. White phosphorus, also known as yellow phosphorus, has a soft texture and can be cut with a small knife. It is highly toxic. Ingesting 1mg of white phosphorus can be fatal. Moreover, white phosphorus is very active and can self-ignite in air at a temperature as low as 40℃. It can be used to make incendiary bombs, white phosphorus bombs, etc.


Reasons why safety matches do not use white phosphorus


  • Since white phosphorus can self-ignite and red phosphorus cannot, it shows that the ignition point of red phosphorus is higher than that of white phosphorus; The reaction of phosphorus with oxygen under ignition conditions produces penta-phosphorus oxide. The chemical formula for this reaction is 4P + 5O2 ignition 2P2O5.

  • When iron wire burns in oxygen, it burns vigorously, sparks fly, a large amount of heat is released, and black solid is formed. The reaction of iron with oxygen under ignition conditions produces tri-iron tetra-oxide. The chemical formula for this reaction is 3Fe + 2O2 ignition Fe3O4.

  • Lime water turns milky when exposed to air due to the presence of CO2; the reaction between carbon dioxide and calcium hydroxide produces precipitated calcium carbonate and water. The chemical formula for this reaction is CO2 + Ca(OH)2 = CaCO3↓ + H2O.

  • SO2 can cause potassium permanganate solution to fade. The reaction between sulfur and oxygen under ignition conditions produces sulfur dioxide.


The above is F-Zero's answer to the reason why safety matches do not use white phosphorus. We hope this article will give you a clearer understanding of this issue! Our matchsticks also do not contain sulfur and toxic heavy metals. The outer and inner boxes are made of 100% recycled cardboard. Whether you are looking for high-quality yet affordable wedding gifts or exquisite brand souvenirs for your company, customized matching is your answer.

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