Sulfur is an element on the Periodic Table
Sulfur, also spelled sulphur, may have a bad image because it is known to smell bad and it is the main ingredient in sulfuric acid. Sulfur, however, is once of the most useful elements in the periodic table. Learn some facts about sulfur and some of the many ways that sulfur is used.
- Sulfur is an element on the Periodic Table of elements
- The atomic number of sulfer is 16. The atomic number is equal to the number of protons in the nucleus.
- In its natural form, sulfur is found as a solid. To turn into a liquid, sulfur must be melted to a temperature of 239.38 degrees F 115.21 degrees C).
- In chemistry, sulfur is similar to oxygen in the way it forms compounds.
- Some common types of sulfur compounds include thiol compound (with a sulfur and hydrogen atom), sulfides (C-S-C) which contain a carbon atom - sulfur atom - carbon atom chain, and disulfides (C-S-S-C) which contain a carbon atom, two sulfur atoms and a carbon atom chain.
- Surprising, sulfur is one of the most useful elements. It is used to help make many chemical compounds that are very useful to us.
- There is sulfur at the Earth's surface. Sulfur makes up about 3 percent of the overall material at the Earth's surface, not including the oceans. Although there is a large amount of sulfur, most of it is not pure sulfur. It is mixed with other elements. The largest deposits of pure sulfur are typically found near active or extinct volcanoes.
- There is a fairly large deposits of sulfur in gypsum. Gypsum contains between 15 to over 20 percent of sulfur. Gypsum, which is used to make drywall, plaster of Paris and Portland cement, is mined thoughout the world.
- Sulfur is one of the main ingredients of black powder. Black powder is used for gun powder, fireworks and was used for explosives before in invention of dynamite.
- Sulfur is used to make rubber. When natural rubber is mixed with sulfur, then heated, the process is known as vulcanization. Vulcanized rubber is useful because it is durable and has a higher melting/softening temperature than natural rubber.
- Today, much of the sulfur used to make products is used to make sulfuric acid (also spelled sulphuric acid). Sulfuric acid is very useful. It is used to make fertilizers, hydrochloric acid, used to make medicines, used to in metal finishing, oil refineries, plastics, paints, and lead-acid batteries.
- Sulfur is used to make pesticides and herbicides.
- Sulfur is added to natural gas so it has a distinct smell. Natural gas is oderless. This helps people know when there is a natural gas leak.
- Sulfur is found in natural gypsum. Gypsum without a lot of impurities contains about 18 percent sulfur.
- The human body contains a small amount of sulfur. Sulfur is contained in foods like green vegetables, onion, garlic, eggs, meat and dairy. Our bodies use sulfur to maintain a healthy cardiovascular system and nervous system.
This gypsum mine is located on the Greek Island of Crete.
Charles Goodyear discovered that sulfur helped to make natural rubber more useful.
Sulfur is is used to make sulfuric acid (also spelled sulphuric acid).
Sulfur is added to natural gas to help keep us safe.