Boiling point:115.21'C
Electron configuration:[Ne]3s23p4
Atomic number:16
Atomic mass:32.066u


Sulphur occurs in native state and combined state. Sulphur beds are found in volcanic rocks of Sicily in Italy. Sulphur occurs in native state in orthorhombic and monoclinic forms. The orthorhombic form is formed at lower temperature. The monoclinic form is formed at higher temperature and found in rare condition. The minerals like Iron pyrite, Copper pyrite, Galena ,Baryte ,Gypsum and Epsom salt contain sulphur. Ordinary sulphur is pale yellow in color. It has faint odor. Sulphur is crystalline, brittle and solid. It sublimates on heating at low temperature. It is bad conductor of heat and electricity. It is insoluble in water and soluble in carbon disulphide. Sulphur is used in manufacturing of sulphur dioxide and sulphuric acid. It is also used in gun powder, fireworks and explosives. It is also used in fungicide and insecticides. Sulphuric acid is the most important product of sulphur. It is known as the king of chemicals. It is the most important industrial chemical. The pattern of consumption of sulphuric acid is an index of industrial prosperity of society.

Sulphuric Acid

Sulphuric acid is used for production of fertilizers and refining of crude petroleum. It is also used for production of hydrochloric acid and nitric acid. Sulphuric acid is used for making of metal sulphates, alums and sodium carbonate. It is used in purification of metals in electrolysis process. It is used in making of explosives, paints, pigments, dues, dehydrating agent, laboratory agent, drugs and disinfectants. It is also used in leather tanning and production of papers. Major producers of sulphur and sulphuric acid are USA, China, Russia, Canada, Saudi Arab, Mexico, Italy, Poland and Germany.
Sulphur is extracted by two processes. Free sulphur is extracted from the underground deposits. Pipes are inserted into the earth down to sulphur deposits. Super heated water at about 180 'C is forced down under pressure through the outer pipe. The hot water melts the sulphur below and pool of molten sulphur is formed. Hot compressed air forced down through one pipe. It forces the molten sulphur to move up through another pipe. Liquid sulphur is collected and dried up to produce sulphur of 99.8% of purity. When sulphur is mixed with sand and earth, it is taken out and heated in a furnace with sloping floor. The sulphur melts down and received in wooden vats. Sulphur is also extracted from natural gas by separation of hydrogen sulphide gas. It is separated by absorbing in monoethanolamine and converted in to sulphur. It is refined by distillation process. The sulphur vapor is condensed in the form of powder sulphur. These are cast into rolls to produce roll sulphur.
Sulphuric acid is produced by contact process. Sulphur dioxide gas is produced by burning of sulphur. The gas is oxidized by air in the presence of catalyst vanadium pentoxide. Sulphur trioxide is produced by the above reaction. It is treated with oleum to produce concentrated sulphuric acid. It is combined with water to produce desired concentration of sulphuric acid. Sulphuric acid is used for production of important sulphur compounds like hydrogen sulphide, sulphur dioxide, sulphur trioxide and sulphate salts. These compounds have industrial and chemical uses.