SULFUR

Introduction

Atomic Number: 16
Group: 16 or VI A
Atomic Weight: 32.065
Period: 3
CAS Number: 7704-34-9

Classification

Chalcogen
Halogen
Noble Gas
Lanthanoid
Actinoid
Rare Earth Metal
Platinum Group Metal
Transuranium
No Stable Isotopes
Solid
Liquid
Gas
Solid (Predicted)

Description

Known to the ancients; referred to in Genesis as brimstone. Sulfur is found in meteorites. A dark area near the crater Aristarchus on the moon has been studied by R. W. Wood with ultraviolet light. This study suggests strongly that it is a sulfur deposit. Sulfur occurs native in the vicinity of volcanoes and hot springs. It is widely distributed in nature as iron pyrites, galena, sphalerite, cinnabar, stibnite, gypsum, Epsom salts, celestite, barite,etc. Sulfur is commercially recovered from wells sunk into the salt domes along the Gulf Coast of the U.S. It is obtained from these wells by the Frasch process, which forces heated water into the wells to melt the sulfur, which is then brought to the surface. Sulfur also occurs in natural gas and petroleum crudes and must be removed from these products. Formerly this was done chemically, which wasted the sulfur. New processes now permit recovery, and these sources promise to be very important. Large amounts of sulfur are being recovered from Alberta gas fields. Sulfur is a pale yellow, odorless, brittle solid, which is insoluble in water but soluble in carbon disulfide. In every state, whether gas, liquid or solid, elemental sulfur occurs in more than one allotropic form or modification; these present a confusing multitude of forms whose relations are not yet fully understood. Amorphous or plastic sulfur is obtained by fast cooling of the crystalline form. X-ray studies indicate that amorphous sulfur may have a helical structure with eight atoms per spiral. Crystalline sulfur seems to be made of rings, each containing eight sulfur atoms, which fit together to give a normal X-ray pattern. Seventeen isotopes of sulfur are now recognized. Four occur in natural sulfur, none of which is radioactive. A finely divided form of sulfur, known as flowers of sulfur, is obtained by sublimation. Sulfur readily forms sulfides with many elements. Sulfur is a component of black gunpowder, and is used in the vulcanization of natural rubber and a fungicide. It is also used extensively is making phosphatic fertilizers. A tremendous tonnage is used to produce sulfuric acid, the most important manufactured chemical. It is used in making sulfite paper and other papers, as a fumigant, and in the bleaching of dried fruits. The element is a good electrical insulator. Organic compounds containing sulfur are very important. Calcium sulfate, ammonium sulfate, carbon disulfide, sulfur dioxide, and hydrogen sulfide are but a few of the many other important compounds of sulfur. Sulfur is essential to life. It is a minor constituent of fats, body fluids, and skeletal minerals. Carbon disulfide, hydrogen sulfide, and sulfur dioxide should be handled carefully. Hydrogen sulfide in small concentrations can be metabolized, but in higher concentrations it quickly can cause death by respiratory paralysis. It is insidious in that it quickly deadens the sense of smell. Sulfur dioxide is a dangerous component in atmospheric air pollution. In 1975, University of Pennsylvania scientists reported synthesis of polymeric sulfur nitride, which has the properties of a metal, although it contains no metal atoms. The material has unusual optical and electrical properties. High-purity sulfur is commercially available in purities of 99.999+%, at a cost of about $50/100 g. 1

Uses/Function

•used in the production of sulfuric acid, H2SO4, the most important of all industrial chemicals. Sulfur is used in the vulcanization of rubber and in the synthesis of many important sulfur-containing organic compounds." 2
•Free sulfur is used to vulcanize rubber to remove its tackiness and give it greater elasticity." 3

Physical Properties

Form:4 rhombic
Melting Point:4*  95.3 C = 368.45 K = 203.54 F
Boiling Point:4* 444.60 C = 717.75 K = 832.28 F
Sublimation Point:4 
Triple Point:4 
Critical Point:4 1041 C = 1314.15 K = 1905.8 F 4
Form:4 monoclinic
Melting Point:4*  119.6 C = 392.75 K = 247.28 F
Boiling Point:4* 444.60 C = 717.75 K = 832.28 F
Sublimation Point:4 
Triple Point:4 
Critical Point:4 1041 C = 1314.15 K = 1905.8 F 4
Density:5  2.07 (all forms) g/cm3

* - at 1 atm

Electron Configuration

Electron Configuration: [Ne] 3s2 3p4
Block: p
Highest Occupied Energy Level: 3
Valence Electrons: 6

Quantum Numbers:

n = 3
ℓ = 1
m = -1
ms = -

Bonding

Electronegativity (Pauling scale):6 2.58
Electropositivity (Pauling scale): 1.42
Electron Affinity:7 2.077103 eV
Oxidation States: -2

Ionization Potential   eV 8  kJ/mol  
1 10.36001    999.6
2 23.3379    2251.8
3 34.79    3356.7
4 47.222    4556.2
5 72.5945    7004.3
Ionization Potential   eV 8  kJ/mol  
5 72.5945    7004.3
6 88.053    8495.8
7 280.948    27107.4
8 328.75    31719.5
9 379.55    36621.0
10 447.5    43177.2
Ionization Potential   eV 8  kJ/mol  
11 504.8    48705.8
12 564.44    54460.2
13 652.2    62927.7
14 707.01    68216.1
15 3223.78    311047.4
16 3494.1892    337137.9

Thermochemistry

Specific Heat: 0.710 J/gC 9 = 22.766 J/molC = 0.170 cal/gC = 5.441 cal/molC
Thermal Conductivity: 0.269 (W/m)/K, 27C 10
Heat of Fusion: 1.7175 kJ/mol 11 = 53.6 J/g
Heat of Vaporization: 
State of Matter Enthalpy of Formation (ΔHf°)12 Entropy (S°)12 Gibbs Free Energy (ΔGf°)12
(kcal/mol) (kJ/mol) (cal/K) (J/K) (kcal/mol) (kJ/mol)
(s rhombic) 0 0 7.63 31.92392 0 0
(ℓ) 0.34 1.42256 8.4 35.1456 0.09 0.37656
(g) 66.29 277.35736 40.09 167.73656 56.61 236.85624

Isotopes

Nuclide Mass 13 Half-Life 13 Nuclear Spin 13 Binding Energy
26S 26.02788(32)# 10# ms 0+ 166.94 MeV
27S 27.01883(22)# 15.5(15) ms (5/2+) 183.40 MeV
28S 28.00437(17) 125(10) ms 0+ 204.52 MeV
29S 28.99661(5) 187(4) ms 5/2+ 220.06 MeV
30S 29.984903(3) 1.178(5) s 0+ 239.31 MeV
31S 30.9795547(16) 2.572(13) s 1/2+ 252.05 MeV
32S 31.97207100(15) STABLE 0+ 266.65 MeV
33S 32.97145876(15) STABLE 3/2+ 275.66 MeV
34S 33.96786690(12) STABLE 0+ 287.47 MeV
35S 34.96903216(11) 87.51(12) d 3/2+ 293.68 MeV
36S 35.96708076(20) STABLE 0+ 303.62 MeV
37S 36.97112557(21) 5.05(2) min 7/2- 307.98 MeV
38S 37.971163(8) 170.3(7) min 0+ 316.06 MeV
39S 38.97513(5) 11.5(5) s (3/2,5/2,7/2)- 320.41 MeV
40S 39.97545(15) 8.8(22) s 0+ 328.49 MeV
41S 40.97958(13) 1.99(5) s (7/2-)# 332.84 MeV
42S 41.98102(13) 1.013(15) s 0+ 339.05 MeV
43S 42.98715(22) 260(15) ms 3/2-# 341.54 MeV
44S 43.99021(42) 100(1) ms 0+ 346.83 MeV
45S 44.99651(187) 68(2) ms 3/2-# 349.32 MeV
46S 46.00075(75)# 50(8) ms 0+ 353.67 MeV
47S 47.00859(86)# 20# ms [>200 ns] 3/2-# 354.29 MeV
48S 48.01417(97)# 10# ms [>200 ns] 0+ 356.78 MeV
49S 49.02362(102)# <200 ns 3/2-# 356.48 MeV
Values marked # are not purely derived from experimental data, but at least partly from systematic trends. Spins with weak assignment arguments are enclosed in parentheses. 13

Reactions

Abundance

Earth - Source Compounds: uncombined 18
Earth - Seawater: 905 mg/L 19
Earth -  Crust:  350 mg/kg = 0.035% 19
Earth -  Mantle:  >2% 20
Earth -  Lithosphere:  0.034% 21
Earth -  Total:  2.92 % 22
Mercury -  Total:  0.24% 22
Venus -  Total:  1.62% 22
Universe -  Total:  0.04% 20
Chondrites - Total: 1.1×105 (relative to 106 atoms of Si) 23
Human Body - Total: 0.2% 24

Compounds

Safety Information


Material Safety Data Sheet - ACI Alloys, Inc.

Languages

Afrikaans:   Swael
Albanian:   Sulfur
Armenian:   Ծծումբ
Arabic:   كبريت
Aromanian:   Sulfure
Basque:   Sufrea
Bosnian:   Sumpor
Breton:   Sulfur
Bulgarian:   Сяра
Belarusian:   Сера
Catalan :   Sofre
Chinese :   硫
Cornish :   Sulfor
Croatian :   Sumpor
Czech :   Sra
Danish:   Svovl
Dutch:   Zwavel
Esperanto:   Sulfuro
Estonian:   Vvel
Faroese:   Svvul or Brennisteinur
Finnish:   Rikki
French:   Soufre
Friulan: Solfar
Frisian:   Swevel
Galician:   Xofre
Georgian:   გოგირდი
German:   Schwefel
Greek:   Θειο
Hebrew:   גופרית
Hungarian:   Kn
Icelandic:   Brennisteinn
Irish Gaelic:   Sulfar
Italian:   Zolfo
Japanese:   硫黄
Kashubian:   Sarka
Kazakh:   Күкірт
Korean:   황
Latvian:   Sers
Lithuanian:   Siera
Luxembourgish:   Schwiewel
Macedonian:   Сулфур
Malay:   Belerang
Maltese :   Kubrit
Manx Gaelic:   Sulfur
Moksha:   Кандур
Mongolian:   Хүхэр
Norwegian:   Svovel
Occitan:   Sofre
Ossetian:   Сондон
Polish:   Siarka
Portuguese:   Enxofre
Russian:   Сера
Scottish Gaelic:   Sulfar
Serbian:   Сумпор
Slovak:   Sra
Spanish:   Azufre
Sudovian:   Siera
Swahili:   Sulfuri
Swedish:   Svavel
Tajik:   Sulfur
Thai:   กำมะถัน
Turkish:   Kkrt
Ukranian:   Сірка
Uzbek:   Олтингугурт
Vietnamese:   Lưu huỳnh
Welsh:   Sylffwr

For More Information

External Links:

Journals:
(1) D. W. Johnson, Biogeochemistry 1, 29-43 (1984)

Sources

(1) - Lide, David R. CRC Handbook of Chemistry and Physics, 83rd ed.; CRC Press: Boca Raton, FL, 2002; p 4:30.
(2) - Whitten, Kenneth W., Davis, Raymond E., and Peck, M. Larry. General Chemistry 6th ed.; Saunders College Publishing: Orlando, FL, 2000; p 952.
(3) - Ebbing, Darrell D. General Chemistry 3rd ed.; Houghton Mifflin Company: Boston, MA, 1990; p 305.
(4) - Lide, David R. CRC Handbook of Chemistry and Physics, 83rd ed.; CRC Press: Boca Raton, FL, 2002; p 4:132.
(5) - Lide, David R. CRC Handbook of Chemistry and Physics, 84th ed.; CRC Press: Boca Raton, FL, 2002; p 4:39-4:96.
(6) - Dean, John A. Lange's Handbook of Chemistry, 11th ed.; McGraw-Hill Book Company: New York, NY, 1973; p 4:8-4:149.
(7) - Lide, David R. CRC Handbook of Chemistry and Physics, 84th ed.; CRC Press: Boca Raton, FL, 2002; p 10:147-10:148.
(8) - Lide, David R. CRC Handbook of Chemistry and Physics, 83rd ed.; CRC Press: Boca Raton, FL, 2002; p 10:178 - 10:180.
(9) - Lide, David R. CRC Handbook of Chemistry and Physics, 83rd ed.; CRC Press: Boca Raton, FL, 2002; p 4:133.
(10) - Lide, David R. CRC Handbook of Chemistry and Physics, 83rd ed.; CRC Press: Boca Raton, FL, 2002; pp 6:193, 12:219-220.
(11) - Lide, David R. CRC Handbook of Chemistry and Physics, 83rd ed.; CRC Press: Boca Raton, FL, 2002; pp 6:123-6:137.
(12) - Lide, David R. CRC Handbook of Chemistry and Physics, 83rd ed.; CRC Press: Boca Raton, FL, 2002; pp 6:107-6:122.
(13) - Dean, John A. Lange's Handbook of Chemistry, 12th ed.; McGraw-Hill Book Company: New York, NY, 1979; p 9:4-9:94.
(14) - Atomic Mass Data Center. http://amdc.in2p3.fr/web/nubase_en.html (accessed July 14, 2009).
(15) - Swaddle, T.W. Inorganic Chemistry; Academic Press: San Diego, 1997; p 279.
(16) -
(17) - Ebbing, Darrell D. General Chemistry 3rd ed.; Houghton Mifflin Company: Boston, MA, 1990; p 205.
(18) - Swaddle, T.W. Inorganic Chemistry; Academic Press: San Diego, 1997; p 360.
(19) - Silberberg, Martin S. Chemistry: The Molecular Nature of Matter and Change, 4th ed.; McGraw-Hill Higher Education: Boston, MA, 2006, p 965.
(20) - Lide, David R. CRC Handbook of Chemistry and Physics, 83rd ed.; CRC Press: Boca Raton, FL, 2002; p 14:17.
(21) - Silberberg, Martin S. Chemistry: The Molecular Nature of Matter and Change, 4th ed.; McGraw-Hill Higher Education: Boston, MA, 2006, p 962.
(22) - Silberberg, Martin S. Chemistry: The Molecular Nature of Matter and Change, 4th ed.; McGraw-Hill Higher Education: Boston, MA, 2006, p 964.
(23) - Morgan, John W. and Anders, Edward, Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. USA 77, 6973-6977 (1980)
(24) - Brownlow, Arthur. Geochemistry; Prentice-Hall, Inc.: Englewood Cliffs, NJ, 1979, pp 15-16.
(25) - Lide, David R. CRC Handbook of Chemistry and Physics, 83rd ed.; CRC Press: Boca Raton, FL, 2002; p 7:17.