Phosphorene, or two-dimensional (2D) black phosphorus (BP) was the first synthetic 2D elemental allotrope beyond graphene to be isolated and studied. It is useful due to its high p-type carrier mobility and direct band gap that is tunable in the range ca. 0.3–2 eV thus bridging the energy gap between graphene and transition metal dichalcogenides such as molybdenum disulfide. Beyond the ‘Scotch-Tape’ method that was used to isolate the first samples of 2D BP for prototype studies, a range of potentially scalable solution processing techniques emerged later that can produce electronics grade material. This feature article focuses on such solution-process routes to 2D BP and highlights challenges in processing the material, mainly caused by its susceptibility to oxidation, as well as illuminating new avenues and opportunities in the area.