What is Polyphosphate Used For

Bisley InternationalFAQs

A polyphosphate is an ester or salt of phosphoric acid. It contains PO43 or a related group. They are typically used in agriculture, water treatment, oil gas, polymers, and many other industries. This post looks at some of the most common uses of polyphosphates.

Uses of Polyphosphate in Different Industries

Water Treatment

Polyphosphates are water treatment chemicals that address specific water quality problems caused by contaminants (iron, manganese, calcium) in groundwater supplies. They also help maintain water quality by reducing lead and copper levels and inhibiting corrosion in the distribution system.

Polyphosphates are often used in mineral sequestration by local and municipal authority water systems to regulate hard water issues like calcium and iron in drinking water. Polyphosphates are essential minerals in the human body that play a key role in blood coagulation. Produced by platelets, they activate Factor XII, which helps in blood clot formation.

Polyphosphates are available in solid or liquid form to fit various application needs. The solid polyphosphates resemble granules or clear beads. These beads can be used in water treatment products such as descalers and filters.

Food Additives

Potassium polyphosphate, sodium polyphosphate, calcium polyphosphate, and sodium calcium polyphosphate are food additives. They do not pose potential health risks apart from those linked to other phosphate sources.

While there have been concerns about the effects of phosphates on cardiovascular diseases and bones, they occur with increased consumption of phosphates. Generally, consuming at least 40 mg per kilogram of body weight per day does not pose any health risk.


Despite the availability of phosphorous in geological deposits, its deficiency in the soil limits the productivity and growth of plants. For this reason, growers typically add polyphosphate to enhance crop yield and quality.

In polyphosphate fertilizer, almost three-quarters of phosphorous is temporarily locked by chain polymers. The orthophosphate (the remaining phosphorous) is immediately ready for plant uptake.

The enzymes produced by microorganisms break down phosphate chains into phosphate molecules that the plants can digest. However, some polyphosphate molecules will typically decompose without enzymes. Half of the polyphosphate is converted to orthophosphate in a week or two after the plant uptake. In cool and dry conditions, this conversion may take even longer.


Phosphates are used as a retarder to delay the thickening of mortars and cement slurries, mainly when added at great depths. Condensed phosphates are also used in several stages of manufacturing gypsum boards. Sodium tripolyphosphate, sodium acid pyrophosphate, and tetrasodium pyrophosphate act as dispersants that enhance gypsum boards’ structural integrity.

Shop Quality Phosphate Compounds from Bisley Today

At Bisley, we are equipped to provide a wide variety of phosphates, including potassium tripolyphosphate and ammonium polyphosphate. Whether you need a phosphate compound for water softening, construction, or agricultural projects, we can supply the materials you need. Contact us today to discuss the details of your project and the formulations you need.

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