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Science Innovation Centre · 016 · Sulfur

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Sulphur is a multivalent non-metal, abundant, tasteless and odourless. In its native form sulphur is a yellow crystalline solid. In nature it occurs as the pure element or as sulphide and sulphate minerals. Although sulphur is infamous for its smell, frequently compare to rotten eggs, that odour is actually characteristic of hydrogen sulphide (H2S).

The crystallography of sulphur is complex. Depending on the specific conditions, sulphur allotropes form several distinct crystal structures. The major derivative of sulphur is sulphuric acid (H2SO4), one of the most important elements used as an industrial raw material.

Sulphur is also used in batteries, detergents, fungicides, manufacture of fertilizers, gun power, matches and fireworks. Other applications are making corrosion-resistant concrete which has great strength and is frost resistant, for solvents and in a host of other products of the chemical and pharmaceutical industries.