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Sulfur as fuel

  1. Feb 3, 2007 #1
    Why is fire hotter when fueled by sulfur as compared to say, paper, wood, or charcoal?
  2. jcsd
  3. Feb 3, 2007 #2


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    Where did one find a statement that indicates burning sulfur produces a hotter fire than paper, wood, or charcoal?

    The temperature depends on the energy released from the particular chemical reaction.

    Find the enthalpy (per mole) or heat of combustion (in pure oxygen) released for the reactions

    S + O2 -> SO2, and

    C + O2 -> CO2, which must compete with C+O -> CO.

    Check one's chemistry book.
  4. Feb 3, 2007 #3
    I don't think you would want to use sulfur as a fuel. The product of combusting sulfur, SO2, could form sulfuric acid which would produce acid rain. The EPA has been trying to cut SO2 emissions for decades.
  5. Feb 3, 2007 #4
    Your dam right gravenewworld, it could end up with SO2 or SO3 +H20 = H2SO3 or H2SO4 like you’ve said, Sulfurous acid or Sulfuric acid

    EDIT: And in black powder, sulfur is just a stabilizer to make the KNO3 and C burns better, to me sulfur just reminds the black powder to burn with better results
    Last edited: Feb 3, 2007
  6. Feb 3, 2007 #5
    I read it somewhere long time ago but I couldn't remember which book or publication.

    Is volcanic lava sulfuric?
  7. Feb 4, 2007 #6
    How about, where and how is sulfur produced in nature?, all I know it’s always available near volcanoes
  8. Feb 4, 2007 #7
    sulfur is everywhere in nature. a lot of SO2 is released when a volcano erupts. you also see a lot of sulfur in the human body. one of the characteristics of the tertiary structure of proteins is a disulfide bond. sulfur is also used a lot in medicines. mesylate salts of drugs are made to create prodrugs, although a lot of times this creates allergic reactions in the body.
  9. Feb 4, 2007 #8
    Yip I know, but how is sulfur made/created by nature? Magic question
  10. Feb 4, 2007 #9
    How is carbon made, how is hydrogen made, etc??? Elements exist because they have always been there. The only way to "make" sulfur would be to smush the right amount of protons into the nucleus.
  11. Feb 4, 2007 #10
    Carbon is probably from some dead trees and some volcanic heat underground without the presence of mr. oxygen, but that “smush the right amount of protons into the nucleus” is the **** man! LOL
  12. Feb 5, 2007 #11


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    Sulfur is made from hydrogen sulfide in volcanoes. Hydrogen sulfide is made from the thermal decomposition of sulfates (or biological reduction) in contact with low valent metals and water deep within the earth. Hydrogen sulfide gas rises until it reaches the surface and combines with oxygen to produce elemental sulfur. It also happens in some sewer systems. Layers of yellow sulfur are sometimes visible in manholes where air has come into contact with hydrogen sulfide (sewer gas).
  13. Feb 5, 2007 #12


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    Standard heat of formation data:

    CO2 -393.51 KJ
    SO2 -296.9 KJ
    SO3 -395.2 KJ

    Thats the heat data. "Hotter" refers to temperature which is a function of how fast something burns and how much heat is produced per unit weight. Paper, wood or charcoal will burn hotter if you provide oxygen fast enough. If your observation is that a sulfur flame is hotter by some thermal measurement, it is because the burning process proceeds faster in your equipment for some reason. Charcoal burns somewhat cooler because is is covered with an ash coating that is not present in burning sulfur. Try adding oxygen to it and see what happens!

    See here:

    http://www.columbiatribune.com/2005/Jul/20050703Comm006.asp [Broken]
    Last edited by a moderator: May 2, 2017
  14. Feb 6, 2007 #13
    This is some hardcore quality stuff man, thanks :rolleyes:
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