Sulfur


MINERAL: SULFUR

Sulfur is the multivalent non metal represented by the symbol S. It is abundantly available in nature as yellow crystalline solid. A natural form of sulfur known as shiliuhuang was known in China since the 6th century BC. At room temperature sulfur is a soft, bright yellow solid and when burned it becomes blood red liquid emitting blue flame. The strong odor from sulfur is exhibited when water mixes with the sulfur producing small amount of hydrogen sulfide (H2S) gas. Sulfur is insoluble in water but soluble in carbon disulfide. Sulfur forms more than 30 allotropes and 25 isotopes.

OCCURRENCE AND DEPOSITS

Native sulfur is usually formed from hot springs and volcanic action - as a sublimate from volcanic gasses associated with realgar, pyrite, galena, sphalerite cinnabar and other minerals. It is also found in some vein deposits. It can also be formed biogenetically - a major source being salt domes, where it has formed by the bacterial decomposition of calcium sulfate. The fossil deposits from salt domes are the basis for commercial production in United States, Russia, Poland, Ukraine. Volcanic deposits are mined in countries like Japan, Chile, and Indonesia. Sulfur is extracted by Sicilian process and Frasch process.


PROPERTIES

· Strong yellow color in thick crystals and can also be reddish or greenish with some impurities.
· Crystal System is orthorhombic; 2/m 2/m 2/m.
· Crystal habit is massive and powdery form.
· It is transparent to translucent.
· Streak is yellow to colorless.
· Luster is resinous or earthy in massive forms.
· Cleavage is very poor in two directions.
· Hardness is 2.
· Specific gravity is between 2-2.1.
· Density is 2.07 g/cm3.


APPLICATIONS/ USES

· Sulfur is used as the light generating medium in lighting fixtures as sulfur lamps.

· Sulfur compounds are also used in fungicides, detergents, agrichemicals and dyestuff.

· Sulfur is used in vulcanization of rubber where polysulfides crosslink organic polymers.

· Sulfur is majorly used in the form of sulfuric acid in many fertilizer manufacturing industries as raw material.

· In sugar manufacturing industries where double carbonation is required sulfur is burned to obtain sulfur dioxide gas for refining of sugar cane juice.

· In paper industry sulfur is used as carbon disulfide solution for digesting of wood pulp.

QUESTION AND ANSWERS

1.What is the natural form of sulfur?
Ans: A natural form of sulfur known as shiliuhuang.

2. Why does sulfur releases strong odor?
Ans: When sulfur mixes with water producing hydrogen sulfide gas it releases strong odor.

3. What are the important properties of sulfur?
Ans: Strong yellow color in thick crystals and can also be reddish or greenish with some impurities.
Crystal System is orthorhombic; 2/m 2/m 2/m.
Specific gravity is between 2-2.1.

4. What are the applications of sulfur?
Ans:Sulfur is used as the light generating medium in lighting fixtures as sulfur lamps.
Sulfur compounds are also used in fungicides, detergents, agrichemicals and dyestuff.
Sulfur is majorly used in the form of sulfuric acid in many fertilizer manufacturing industries as raw material.

REFERENCES

www.wikipedia.com
www.galleries.com
Industrial Minerals by R.K.Sinha

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