Sulfur (in British English “Sulphur”), is a chemical element with the symbol “S” and atomic number 16. It is abundant, multivalent, and Non–Metallic. Under normal conditions, Sulfur atoms form cyclic Octatomic Molecules with a chemical formula S8. Elemental Sulpfur is a bright yellow, Crystalline solid at room temperature.
Sulfur is the tenth most common element by mass in the universe, and the fifth most common on Earth. Though sometimes found in pure, native form, sulfur on Earth usually occurs as Sulfide and Sulfate minerals. Being abundant in native form, sulfur was known in ancient times, being mentioned for its uses in ancient India, ancient Greece, China and Egypt. In the Bible, sulfur is called Brimstone, which means “burning stone”. Today, almost all elemental sulfur is produced as a by–product of removing sulfur–containing contaminants from natural gas and petroleum. The greatest commercial use of the element is the production of Sulfuric Acid for Sulfate and Phosphate fertilizers, and other chemical processes. The element sulfur is used in matches, Insecticides and Fungicides. Many sulfur compounds are Odoriferous, and the smells of Odorized Natural Gas, Skunk Scent, Grapefruit, and Garlic are due to Organosulfur compounds. Hydrogen Sulfide gives the characteristic odor to rotting eggs and other biological processes.
Sulfur is an essential element for all life, but almost always in the form of organosulfur compounds or metal sulfides. Three Amino Acids (“Cysteine”, “Cystine”, and “Methionine”) and two vitamins (“Biotin” and “Thiamine”) are organosulfur compounds. Many cofactors also contain Sulfur, including “Glutathione”, “Thioredoxin”, and “Iron–Sulfur” proteins. Disulfides, S–S bonds, confer mechanical strength and insolubility of the protein Keratin, found in outer skin, hair, and feathers. Sulfur is one of the core chemical elements needed for biochemical functioning and is an elemental macronutrient for all living organisms.
Sulphur is one of the most important elements and is essential for life. Its an integral component of the world economy used to manufacture many products including several chemicals and fertilizers.
It is also is a vital nutrient for Humans, Crops and Animals. Aside from this, the element is used in many other ways. It is the primary source to produce sulphuric acid, which is one of the world’s most used chemicals. Sulphuric acid is also used as an essential intermediate in many processes in the manufacturing and chemical industries. Another use is by the fertilizer industry to manufacture mostly phosphates, and also potassium, nitrogen, and sulphate fertilizers. In many other industries it’s used for fibers, Non–Ferrous metals, carbon disulphide, synthetic rubber vulcanization, water treatment pigments, pharmaceuticals, personal care products, agricultural products, cosmetics and steel pickling. The material is also one of the essential plant nutrients. The versatility of sulphur can be attributed to its unique properties.
Standard Specification of Sulphur: