Reactive Group Datasheet

Nitrides, Phosphides, Carbides, and Silicides

These compounds react readily with oxygen or air. They are often pyrophoric, especially if finely divided. The transition metal nitrides are often explosively unstable.
Materials in this group are reducing agents. They generate flammable or noxious gases in contact with water. Many nitrides react with moisture to evolve gaseous ammonia, which is toxic and combustible. Phosphides react quickly upon contact with moisture or acids to give the very toxic gas phosphine; phosphides also can react vigorously with oxidizing materials. Inorganic amides react with moisture to evolve ammonia. Inorganic carbides react with water to generate flammable gases. The transition metal nitrides react violently with water forming the metal hydroxides and ammonia. In general, materials in this group are incompatible with oxidizers such as atmospheric oxygen. They are violently incompatible with acids, particularly oxidizing acids.
Tend to react with water to give corrosive or toxic products. Corrosive to skin and mucous membranes.
Other Characteristics
Compounds in this group are nominally salts of the following anions: [N]3-, [P]3-, [NH2]-, [C]2-, and [Si]4-.

The nitrides included in this group are the ionic nitrides of the group 1 and 2 metals and aluminum.

The phosphides included are the ionic phosphides which easily hydrolyze to phosphine. Phosphine spontaneously ignites in air along with being extremely toxic.

The carbides covered in this group are the ionic carbides of elements in Group I, II, and III of the Periodic Table. These materials readily hydrolyze to acetylene and other flammable hydrocarbons.

Silicides are materials that hydrolyze to form silane.
Sodium amide, calcium carbide, magnesium silicide, lithium nitride, calcium nitride, aluminum carbide, aluminum phosphide, calcium phosphide, calcium silicide, magnesium aluminum phosphide, magnesium phosphide, potassium phosphide, magnesium silane.