Compounds containing the −PO3H2 function, such as monoesters of phosphoric acid and phosphonic acids, specifically bind to aluminium oxide in aqueous solution under experimental conditions where non-phosphorylated compounds are completely desorbed. The bound organic phosphate can be specifically displaced by aqueous solution of inorganic phosphates thus allowing their separation or detection by a technique similar to that of affinity chromatography. The consequences of this finding for phosphate compound biochemistry are discussed.

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