Phosphates are a group of chemical compounds derived from phosphoric acid, which includes its salts and esters. Three lines of phosphates are identified in chemistry, and their grouping depends on the degree of substitution of the phosphoric acid. These are primary, secondary and tertiary phosphates. With an increasing degree of substitution, the solubility of these substances drops, and consequently among tertiary and secondary phosphates only salts of alkali metals (except lithium) and ammonium are soluble.
Phosphoric acid esters are found, for example, in nucleic acids and nucleotides, which play an important role in life processes. In the form of ATP, which stands for adenosine triphosphate, they are also the primary source of energy for chemical reactions in the human body.
Phosphates find use e.g. in the construction, automotive, furniture, and food industries, and in C.A.S.E. applications.
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