A white amorphous deliquescent solid, As2O5; r.d. 4.32; decomposes at 315°C. It is soluble in water and ethanol. Arsenic(V) oxide cannot be obtained by direct combination of arsenic and oxygen; it is usually prepared by the reaction of arsenic with nitric acid followed by dehydration of the arsenic acid thus formed. It readily loses oxygen on heating to give arsenic(III) oxide. Arsenic(V) oxide is acidic, dissolving in water to give arsenic(V) acid (formerly called arsenic acid), H3AsO4; the acid is tribasic and slightly weaker than phosphoric acid and should be visualized as (HO)3AsO. It gives arsenate(V) salts (formerly called arsenates).