How Was Sulfur Discovered?

sulfur-discovered Credit: Athit Perawongmetha/Getty Images News/Getty Images

The existence of sulfur dates back to ancient times and is referred to in the Bible as "brimstone." In 1789, a French chemist named Antoine-Laurent Lavoisier recognized it and added it to his famous list of elements. In 1823, a German chemist named Eilhard Mitscherlich discovered sulfur's allotrophy.

Sulfur is a chalcogen and non-metal element that is yellow in color. It is a solid substance that has a melting point of 239.36 degrees Fahrenheit and a boiling point of 832.46 degrees Fahrenheit. Burning sulfur creates sulfur dioxide, which is a poisonous gas that was used to fumigate buildings contaminated with infectious diseases. The name sulfur is likely derived from the word "sufra," which means "yellow" in Arabic.