Q:

What is sulphur used for?

A:

Quick Answer

Humans have many uses for sulfur, including the production of gunpowder. The Chinese first used sulfur in explosives and fireworks around 500 B.C. The Egyptians began using sulfur dioxide to bleach cotton materials over 4,000 years ago.

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What is sulphur used for?
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Full Answer

Sulfur is an essential ingredient in the vulcanization of rubber. Without this chemical element, the rubber that manufacturers use to make tires for vehicles would remain sticky, making automobile travel impractical. Paper manufacturers use sulfur compounds to bleach their finished product. These sulfur compounds are responsible for the characteristic odor related to paper mills. It is also used in pesticides, dyes and fungicides. Manufacturers convert elemental sulfur to sulfuric acid for use in fertilizer, production of paints and lead acid storage batteries.

While sulfur is essential for human life, its compounds are highly toxic. Hydrogen sulfide gas is an atmospheric pollutant. While the lungs are able to metabolize small amounts of hydrogen sulfide, larger amounts deaden the sense of smell, cause respiratory paralysis and lead to death, according to About.com.

Sulfur is a chemical element that readily reacts with many other compounds. Elemental sulfur is a yellow solid, and exists in both a crystalline and rhombic form. When the solid melts it forms a blood red liquid. If ignited, it burns with a blue flame.

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Related Questions

  • Q:

    How do you make gunpowder?

    A:

    Make gunpowder by combining saltpeter, sulfur and charcoal. This method produces a gunpowder that burns slowly and evenly and is appropriate for use in firecrackers or other pyrotechnics. Making explosive gunpowder requires grinding the ingredients together for a long period of time, but because the mixture can explode at any time, this method requires a remotely operated gunpowder mill.

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  • Q:

    What is the component of gunpowder that smells like rotten eggs?

    A:

    The component of gunpowder that creates the smell of rotten eggs when fired is sulfur. Gunpowder is a mix of three different components - potassium nitrate, charcoal and sulfur. Gunpowder has a flash point of approximately 801 to 867 degrees Fahrenheit.

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  • Q:

    What are the components of black powder?

    A:

    Black powder, or gunpowder, consists of sulfur as well as a fuel and an oxidizer. In the past, charcoal was always used as the fuel, while the oxidizer was potassium nitrate, also known as saltpeter. In 2014, sugar is used as the fuel in certain applications, such as in fireworks.

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  • Q:

    What element has six valence electrons?

    A:

    There are multiple elements that have six valence electrons, including oxygen and sulfur. These elements can be found in the sixteenth group in the vertical column of the periodic table, also known as the chalcogens.

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