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General

  • Sulfur or sulphur is the chemical element that has the atomic number 16 and it is denoted with the symbol S. It is an abundant multivalent non-metal. Sulfur, in its native form, is a yellow crystalline solid.
    Sulphur is a pale yellow, odourless, brittle solid, which is insoluble in water but soluble in carbon disulphide.

  • Sulfur occurs native in the vicinity of volcanos and hot springs. It is widely distributed in nature as iron pyrites, galena, sphalerite, cinnabar, stibnite, gypsum, epsom salts, celestite, barite, etc.

Process

  • Sulfur is extracted by mainly two processes: the Sicilian process and the Frasch process. The Frasch process produces sulfur with a 99.5% purity content, and which needs no further purification. The sulfur produced by the Sicilian process must be purified by distillation.

  • The Claus process is used to extract elemental sulfur from hydrogen sulfide produced in hydrodesulfurization of petroleum or from natural gas.
  • Sulfur degasification is a process that removes dissolved H2S and H2Sx vapor from produced liquid sulfur. Undegassed sulfur presents odor and potential toxic hazardous conditions in the storage, loading and transport of liquid sulfur.

Application

  • Sulfur is a component of black gunpowder, and is used in the vulcanization of natural rubber and a fungicide. It is also used extensively in making phosphatic fertilizers. A tremendous tonnage is used to produce sulfuric acid, the most important manufactured chemical.
  • Sulfur compounds are also used in detergents, fungicides, dyestuffs, and agrichemicals. In silver-based photography sodium and ammonium thiosulfate are used as "fixing agents."
  • Sulfur is an ingredient in some acne treatments.
  • Sulfur is used as a light-generating medium in the rare lighting fixtures known as sulfur lamps.

Market

  • Sulfur is an emerging market. Strong Growth is expected in this segment.
  • The global sulfur industry remained divided into two sectors―discretionary and nondiscretionary.
  • Worldwide recovered sulfur output is expected to increase
    significantly in the future. For the next 2 or 3 years, sulfur
    supply and demand is expected to be reasonably well balanced.

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