Making Sulfur

  1. mrjeffy321

    mrjeffy321 881
    Science Advisor

    Is there an easy way to make/extract Sulfur (/Sulphur)?
    For example, making sulfur by taking the sulfur out of sulfuric acid? I dont think this is possible though, is it?
    or by extracting it from sulfur soil and getting a relatively high purity?
  2. jcsd
  3. Flowers of sulfur sold at some garden centers is relatively pure. You can get rid of the calcium hydroxide and calcium carbonate impurities by saturating it in water and filtering it.

    As far as talking it from sulfuric acid or a sulfate, I would not even try doing this as it is easy to liberate H2S gas...and you wouldn't want to do that.
  4. mrjeffy321

    mrjeffy321 881
    Science Advisor

    'flowers of sulfur', I have never heard of that, but apearently, it is synonymous to Sulfur, acording to the MSDS I am looking at.
    and since Sulfur is incoluble in water, taking dissolving the impurities sounds like a very good plan to me.

    I will look into getting some next time I have the chance. Are there any other names I could be called under, the only thing I am familar with is jsut called 'sulfur [soil]' and I dont think that is what your talking about.
    Do you happen to know the initial purity of it right out of the bag, maybe it isnt even worth my effort in purifying it.
  5. It is sold as flowers of sulfur as fertilizer and it is already pretty pure (>90%). I read that you can buy flowers of sulfur from a pharmacy and this seems to be 99%.

    Flowers of sulfur refers to a certain kind of sulfur, e.g. theres liquid sulfur also.

    I think sulfur soil is different, soil with sulfur additives.
  6. Borek

    Staff: Mentor

    Only as long as these impurities are soluble. Mix the sulfur with sand and water will be of no help, unless you are going to try some flotational method :)

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  7. Don't eggs contain sulfer?
  8. mrjeffy321

    mrjeffy321 881
    Science Advisor

    Of course.

    af far as eggs containing sulfur, I dont know, but if they do, I highly doubt there is an easy way to extract it.
  9. Borek

    Staff: Mentor

    Egg proteins contain sulphur in methionine and cysteine - but you are probably right extraction is not an easy task. However, silver spoon put into egg white gets dark due to sulfide formation.

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  10. mrjeffy321

    mrjeffy321 881
    Science Advisor

    I went to the store and looked for some of that 'flowers sulfur', but didnt find any (the guy I asked didnt have a clue what I was talking about).
    They did however have something creatively named 'Aluminum Sulfate' (Al2(SO4)3), which is suppose if what they want people to use in place of just pure sulfur. I dont think this will be much use to be though, although I did learn an interesting little fact about this, if you miz it with water, it will make sulfuric acid. (they also had another product, 'Phosphate' (P2O5), which will make phosphoric acid when you mix that with water, good information to know when I need anything like that).

    I also tried the pharmacy section of the super marked, no success there either.

    Tomarrow, I'll try another store.
  11. Borek

    Staff: Mentor

    That is not a creative name, that's a chemical name :smile:

    Aluminum sulfate is aluminum sulfate, sulfur is sulfur. Are you sure you know what is a difference between element and compound?

    No way, what you will get will be the solution of aluminum sulfate. Plus some effects of hydrolysis.

    What kind of store have you been in? They had P2O5 and they didn't had sulfur? I suppose that what they tried to sell as P2O5 was some kind of fertilizer with information about the phosphor content expressed in P2O5 mass (or %).

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  12. mrjeffy321

    mrjeffy321 881
    Science Advisor

    Yes, I know that, I was being sarcastic, trying to give the obviousness of the name rather than calling it some undescriptive product name, like white powder numer 3.
    I only thought this becuase alot of times, when you buy something for a purpose like this, for example adding sulfur to your soil, the box may say, '45% sulfur', but really your buying they sulfur in a different form. like in fertilizer, they tell you a percent nitrogen, but I bet you it isnt really N2 that is in the bag, rather a nitrogen compound that they call nitrogen.
    I went to 'Lowes', in the garden section, they usually have whatever I need there. The P2O5 they had, acording to the box, was (I think) about 45% and the rest I dont know what it was.
  13. Borek

    Staff: Mentor

    Fertilizer compositions are often given in a little bit cryptic manner. For, example, potassium phosphate if sold as a fertilizer will have its composition given as 33% P2O5 and 66% K2O, regardless of the fact that it doesn't contain potassium nor phosphorus oxides. So don't believe what is on the box what is important is what's inside - and to check it you will have to analyze the fertilizer.

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  14. mrjeffy321

    mrjeffy321 881
    Science Advisor

    I finally did get some sulfur, called "Dusting Wettable Slufur", it is about 90% sulfur, 10% "other".
    I dont really know how much that 10% other will effect any experiments I want to do with the sulfur, but just for the heck of it (and because I am obsesive about purifying things), I'd like to see if I can purify the sulfur any more,
    I did find this page on how to purify it using toluene,
    the thing is, I havent heard of this toluene stuff before today?
    What is it, where can I get it, any safety info I should know? isnt it paint thinner and highly flamable?
  15. well you can make sulfur from so2 and h2S (so2 + h2o = h2o + 2s) and you can get sulfer dioxide from alumium sulfate by heating it and you can make h2s from plaser of paris by heating it with cardon to reduce it to sulfide wich then you can add an acid to it wich will form h2s if it is concintrated the h2s gas wil foat out and you could take the gas and disolve it in a sultion of h2so3 (sulfur dioxide disoved in water) and sulfur should ppt it also can be done with h2so4 and h2s the reaction is h2so4 + h2s = 2h2o + 2s how ever expected low yeids and for it to be dangerus and time consuming so do not do this
  16. mrjeffy321

    mrjeffy321 881
    Science Advisor

    I was looking for more practical ideas, in particular, this method I mentioned in my last post.
    from the MSDS,
    this stuff looks pretty nasty, and from the looks of it, the method described in the link would seem very dangerous (boiling the stuff).
    Or should I be OK if I do it in a well ventilated area and dont sniff too much?
  17. You don't want any solvents near a heat source, burner, hot-plate whatever.

    You can get sulfur from a road flare. IDK what country you are in? I live in the US, and our flares are sulfur, Strontium Nitrate (oxidizers that burns strongly reddish), and a little bit of impurities.

    What do you need the sulfur for?...mixing it with potassium chlorate by chance ;) ?

    You don't need really pure sulfur if you are making some kind of pyrotechnics composition, just realize that it gives off incredibly suffocating fumes when burned.
  18. mrjeffy321

    mrjeffy321 881
    Science Advisor

    So you would say it is a bad idea to boil some toluene on a hot plate. Even outside, with plenty of ventilation? I was talking to some other people about doing this, and they were alot more open to the idea of doing this, describing toluene as just about as dangerous as normal gasoline, just dont do anything too stupid with it and all should be well.

    Mixing KClO3 with sulfur isnt too good of an idea since it is quite prone to go off by itself, but then again, hey, I am also talking about boiling a highly flamable and dangerous solvent too.

    I wanted to use the sulfur for pyrotechnics, primarily with KNO3, to se if that will help relieve my dissapointment with that substance, but also with other pyro mixtures. I wasnt sure how the 10% impurity would effect it, but I figured the more pure the better, and since I found a method of doing it, why not.
  19. If you want to boil a solvent, then I would recommend a double boiler, it is a pain the ass to use. It won't blow up though either...Boil a large pan with water in it, when it is boiling vigorously take it off of the heat source, and remove it by at least six feet, then take your other container filled with the toluene/sulfur mix, and immerse it into the boiling water. Stit, stir, stir! At this point you will have to reheat the toluene/sulfur mix a few times, and keep stirring it. No matter what you decide to do, do not boil any solvent directly over any kind of heat source, boiling water is a very nice buffer, and since most flammable solvents boil lower than water it is a good way to heat them with much less chance of fire or an explosion.

    I still don't think that you need to go through all of this hassle for it. If you use a road flare, (Sulfur, Strontium Nitrate, <insert a few % of other random impurities>) and then boil it in water it will be more than pure enough for fireworks compositions. You might want to do it twice though, the sulfur will melt, and not dissolve. Strontium produces a fairly persistent red colored flame, so if you are going for color wash it twice, otherwise once is fine.

    I mentioned the potassium chlorate because of your other thread on making it electrolytically. It was a joke *shrug*
    Last edited: Jun 16, 2005
  20. mrjeffy321

    mrjeffy321 881
    Science Advisor

    Oh, a Joke, I think I have heard of those before, very funny.

    that method does sound a whole lot safer than putting the toluene directly on a heat source, but insted boiling water ["the universal solvent"] and use that to heat it up.
  21. Thank you, I do try you know.
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