Sulfur or sulphur (British English; see spelling below) is a chemical element with symbol S and atomic number 16. It is an abundant, multivalent non-metal. Under normal conditions, sulfur atoms form cyclic octatomic molecules with chemical formula S8. Elemental sulfur is a bright yellow crystalline solid when at room temperature. Chemically, sulfur can react as either an oxidant or reducing agent. It oxidizes most metals and several nonmetals, including carbon, which leads to its negative charge in most organosulfur compounds, but it reduces several strong oxidants, such as oxygen and fluorine.
Elemental sulfur is mainly used as a precursor to other chemicals. Approximately 85% (1989) is converted to sulfuric acid (H2SO4):
2 S + 3 O2 + 2 H2O → 2 H2SO4
With sulfuric acid being of central importance to the world's economies, its production and consumption is an indicator of a nation's industrial development. For example with 32.5 million tonnes in 2010, the United States produces more sulfuric acid every year than any other inorganic industrial chemical. The principal use for the acid is the extraction of phosphate ores for the production of fertilizer manufacturing. Other applications of sulfuric acid include oil refining, wastewater processing, and mineral extraction.
Contact us for specifications ...