SULFUR ( SULPHUR)
Sulfur is the chemical element that has the symbol S and atomic number 16. It´s melting point is 115.21 °C and boiling point is 444.6 °C. It´s density is 2.067 grams per cubic centimetre. At room temperature, sulfur is a solid. It´s hardness is 2. It is a non-metal. Sulfur has a strong yellow color. It is transparent or translucent element. Poor heat conductivity makes sulfur brittle when it is heated. Sulfur can actually be cracked if we held it hard in our hand. It isn´t good conductor of electricity. Sulfur isn´t shiny or sonorous. It is brittle solid. It is insoluble in water but soluble in carbon disulfide. It has typical smell. Sulfur is stable in the air and in the water but it burns if it is heated. Sulfur burns with a blue flame which contains a sulfur dioxide.
Sulfur is one of the few chemical elements that can be found in nature in their elemental form. It can be found as the pure element and as sulfide and sulfate minerals. We can found sulfur near volcanos and hot springs or in meteorities. Annual world production of sulfur is around 54,000,000 tons. Primary mining areas are in the USA, Spain, Sicily, Poland and Chile.
Sulfur is a component of black gunpowder. It is used in matches, fireworks, batteries, medicines and in pesticides. Also for making sulfuric acid (H2SO4). It is also used for making phosphatic fertilizers. A great quantity of sulfur is used to produce sulfuric acid, the most important manufactured chemical. Sulfur is essential to life. It is a minor element of fats, body fluids, and skeletal minerals.
The burning of coal or petroleum by industry, generatic stations, factories and motor vehicles produce sulfur dioxide (SO2), which reacts with atmospheric water and oxygen to produce sulfuric acid (H2SO4). This sulfuric acid is a component of acid rain. Acid rain can slow the growth of plants or plants can be damaged by acid rain. It can cause some illness of people. Acid rain can also cause damage to buildings and historical monuments.
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.
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