|Jmol-3D images||Image 1|
|Molar mass||310.18 g mol−1|
|Appearance||White amorphous powder|
|Melting point||Liquifies under high pressure at 1670 K (1391 °C)|
|Solubility in water||0.002 g/100 g|
|Std enthalpy of
|-4126 kcal/mol (α-form)|
|EU Index||Not listed|
|Other anions||Calcium pyrophosphate|
|Other cations||Trimagnesium phosphate
|Related compounds||Monocalcium phosphate
|Except where noted otherwise, data are given for materials in their standard state (at 25 °C (77 °F), 100 kPa)|
|(what is: / ?)|
Tricalcium phosphate (sometimes abbreviated TCP) is a calcium salt of phosphoric acid with the chemical formula Ca3(PO4)2. It is also known as tribasic calcium phosphate and bone phosphate of lime (BPL). Calcium phosphate is one of the main combustion products of bone (see bone ash). Calcium phosphate is also commonly derived from inorganic sources such as mineral rock.
It has an alpha and a beta crystal form, the alpha state being formed at high temperatures. As rock, it is found in Whitlockite.
Calcium phosphate refers to minerals containing calcium ions (Ca2+) together with orthophosphates (PO43-), metaphosphates or pyrophosphates (P2O74-) and occasionally hydrogen or hydroxide ions. Especially, the common mineral apatite has formula Ca5(PO4)3X, where X is F, Cl, OH, or a mixture; it is hydroxyapatite if the extra ion is mainly hydroxide. Much of the "tricalcium phosphate" on the market is actually powdered hydroxyapatite.
Tricalcium phosphate occurs naturally in several forms, including:
- as a rock in Morocco, Israel, Philippines, Egypt, and Kola (Russia) and in smaller quantities in some other countries. The natural form is not completely pure, and there are some other components like sand and lime which can change the composition. In terms of P2O5, most calcium phosphate rocks have a content of 30% to 40% P2O5 in weight.
- in the skeletons and teeth of vertebrate animals
- in cow's milk.
Tricalcium phosphate is used in powdered spices as an anticaking agent. It is also found in baby powder.
Calcium phosphate is an important raw material for the production of phosphoric acid and fertilizers, for example in the Odda process. Phosphate ore quality and quantity is often specified as percent BPL (bone phosphate of lime), where 1% BPL is equivalent to 0.458% P2O5.
Calcium phosphate is also a raising agent (food additive) E341. As a mineral salt found in rocks and bones, it is used in cheese products.
It is also used as a nutritional supplement and occurs naturally in cow milk, although the most common and economical forms for supplementation are calcium carbonate (which should be taken with food) and calcium citrate (which can be taken without food). There is some debate about the different bioavailabilities of the different calcium salts.
It can be used as a tissue replacement for repairing bony defects when autogenous bone graft is not feasible or possible. It may be used alone or in combination with a biodegradable, resorbable polymer such as polyglycolic acid. It may also be combined with autologous materials for a bone graft.
Porous beta-Tricalcium phosphate scaffolds are employed as drug carrier systems for local drug delivery in bone.
Another practical application of the compound is its use in gene transfection. The calcium ions can make a cell competent to allow exogenous genes to enter the cell by diffusion. A heat shock afterwards then invokes the cell to repair itself. This is a quick and easy method for transfection, albeit a rather inefficient one.
Calcium triphosphate is used to remove fluoride from water in water filtration systems.
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