23 Sulphur Uses: Facts You Should Know!

The uses of sulphur and its compound are found to have practical uses in everyday human life. Let us study some facts about the element below:

  • Sulphur is a bright yellow colored non-metal found abundantly in atmosphere.
  • Sulphur exhibits variable valency, so its compounds have wide industrial applications in oxide and sulphate forms.
  • Sulphur is used in vulcanization of rubber, bleaching of paper, and production of cement, detergents, and pesticides.

The stable compounds of elemental sulphur, such as sulphur hexafluoride, sulphur dioxide, soil sulphur and others, have wide uses in the chemical and rubber industries. The uses of different forms and compounds of sulphur are reviewed throughout this article.

Sulphur hexafluoride uses

Sulphur hexafluoride is colorless and odorless non-combustible gas. It is chemically and thermally inert compound. It is widely employed in electrical and non-electrical applications. SF6 is also used in the following factors:

  • In pulmonary perfusion testing, SF6 is an effective contrast.
  • In foundry for aluminum casting, SF6 is used as a refining agent.
  • Being chemically inert, SF6 is used as a tracer in pipe leak detection techniques.
  • SF6 is used in the power transmission sector as a primary insulator in high-voltage coaxial cables.
  • In the semiconductor industry, SF6 is used as an etching gas.

Sulphur dioxide uses

Sulphur dioxide (SO2) is a colorless, and pungent gas. It is known for its use as a preservative and solvent. As a renowned oxidizing and reducing agent, it has wide uses.

  • In the manufacture of sulphuric acid (contact process), sulphur dioxide is the most useful component.
  • SO2 is widely used as a solvent in manufacturing organic and inorganic compounds.
  • SO2 is used as an effective fumigant and pesticide.
  • SO2 is used as a bleaching agent in the presence of moisture and bleaches wool, hair, and paper.
  • In the refining of petroleum and sugar, SO2 is commonly used.
  • Liquid SO2 is used as a refrigerant.
  • SO2 is also used as an antichlor agent to remove excess chlorine from bleached materials.

Molten sulphur uses

Molten sulphur is an amber-colored flammable liquid with rotten egg smell. It is insoluble in water and transported in liquid form at high temperatures to avoid solidification of sulphur.

  • Molten sulphur is largely used in the production of sulphuric acid by contact process.
  • Solidified and powdered form of molten sulphur is used in certain fertilizers.
  • In molten form, sulphur, along with sodium, is used to make rechargeable sulphur-sodium batteries.
  • Molten sulphur also finds use in the vulcanization of rubber.

Soil sulphur uses

Soil sulphur is best used as a pesticide. It is also a potent disinfectant and fungicide. Soil sulphur is used in farming for the following purposes:

  • Soil sulphur in specified amounts improves plant growth by promoting chlorophyll production.
  • Sulphur helps to aggregate soil particles for effective nutrient absorption.
  • Soil sulphur enhances soil structure by providing good seepage of air and water in the soil required for plant growth.
  • The most important use of soil sulphur is to maintain optimum soil pH.

Conclusion

Sulphur and its compounds are found to be used largely in sulphuric acid manufacture as it has extensive industrial usage. It is chiefly used in synthetic vulcanization and as an important constituent in soil for plant growth.

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