Sulfur

Sources sulfur

  • By-product of petroleum and natural gas refining
  • Occurs in sulphide ores e.g. lead sulphide
  • Underground sulfur beds
  • Volcano rims

Uses

Sulfur Sulfur Dioxide
Rubber vulcanization As a bleach for wood pulp in the manufacture of paper
In car batteries as an electrolyte Food preservative; kills bacteria
Manufacture of sulphuric acid ( Contact Process) Metal and ore refining (reducing agent)

Sulphuric acid

Sulphuric acid is a colourless liquid, strong, non-volatile acid. It is a very strong oxidising agent i.e. it can oxidize both metals and non-metals (bases) forming salts (sulphates). Its soluble in water and emits heat when dissolved. It can be used as a dehydrating agent as it absorbs water.

Contact Process

Factors employed to increase yield of Sulphur trioxide

     Temperature- 450 0C (low)
     Pressure- 1atm,
     Catalyst- vanadium(v) oxide (it speeds up the rate of reaction).

Procedure

❶ Formation of Sulphur dioxide

Sulphur is reacted with oxygen to form sulphur dioxide.
S(g) + O2 → SO2(s)

 

❷ Formation of Sulphur trioxide

SO2 is further reacted with oxygen to form sulphur trioxide in a reversible reaction (going both directions).
2SO2 + O2(g) ⇋ 2SO2(g).

 

❸ Formation of oleum

Sulphur trioxide is cooled and reacted in concentrated sulfuric acid to produce oleum,
SO3 + H2SO4 → H2S2O7.
When sulfur trioxide is reacted with water it forms a mist sulfuric acid.

❹ Formation of Sulfuric Acid

Oleum is diluted with water to form sulphuric acid.

H2S2O7 + H2O → 2H2SO4

 

Properties of Sulfuric Acid

    • Concentrated H2SO4  is a strong oxidizing and dehydrating agent
    • Corrosive when concentrated
    • Low pH (turns blue litmus red)
    • High electrical conductivity

 

Uses of Sulphuric acid

Concentrated Diluted
Used in phosphate fertilizers Cleaning metal surfaces
Production of paints and dyes Catalyst in organic reactions

  • in making detergents
  • to manufacture plastics and fibres
  • in refining petroleum
  • as electrolyte in car battery
  • galvanization and electroplating
  • in production of dyes, drugs, explosives…

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