Brief look of sulfur
The bright, lemon yellow, non-metallic element, sulfur, is a very soft mineral. It is only 2 on Mohs’ scale of hardness.Sulfur has a very low thermal conductivity meaning it cannot transfer heat very well. The touch of a hand will cause a sulfur crystal to crack because the crystal’s surface warms faster than the interior. Sulfur melts at 108 degrees Celsius, and burns easily with a blue flame. Even the flame of a match is enough to set sulfur on fire. When sulfur is burned it combines with oxygen producing sulfur dioxide, SO2 , which smells like rotten eggs.
Sulfur attaches to metal ions, creating a number of significant sulfide ore minerals such as galena (lead sulfide), pyrite (iron sulfide), chalcocite (copper sulfide), and sphalerite (zinc sulfide).Sulfur easily attaches to oxygen, creating the sulfate ion (SO4). Sulfates are another significant group of minerals, some of which are important commodities. Gypsum (hydrous calcium sulfate) and barite (barium sulfate) are two commodities that include sulfur.
Used in the manufacture of sulfuric acid, fertilizers, chemicals, explosives, dyestuffs, petroleum refining, vulcanization of rubber, fungicides.The majority of the sulfur produced in the United States is used to make sulfuric acid. Sulfuric acid has multiple uses in the production of chemicals, petroleum products and a wide range of other industrial applications. Sulfur’s main use is in making chemicals for agriculture, mostly for fertilizers. Other uses of sulfur include refining petroleum, metal mining, and the production of organic and inorganic chemicals. A multitude of products (such as the production of rubber for automobile tires) require sulfur in one form or another during some stage of their manufacture.
Mined sulfur is mostly from salt domes or bedded deposits. The vast majority is produced as a by-product of oil refining and natural gas processing.From the production of sulfur,the major sulfur producing countries are North America and the former Soviet union and the Middle East to world,which owns more than 70% of the world production of sulfur.The top 10 output of countries is the United States, Canada, Russia, Saudi Arabia, Japan, the united Arab emirates, Germany, kazakhstan, Iran and Mexico.
Substitutes and alternative sources
The variety of sulfur resources in different fossil fuel deposits, as well as the large amount of sulfur contained in sedimentary gypsum, guarantees massive sulfur resources for future use. It is estimated that there are 600 billion tons of sulfur contained in oil shale, coal, and other sediments rich in organic matter but a cost-effective method of retrieving the sulfur has not yet been developed. The sulfur available in gypsum and anhydrite is described as being “limitless.”