Why does combining Hydrogen, Oxygen and Sulphur produce a liquid?

In summary, When hydrogen, sulfur, and oxygen are combined, they undergo a chemical reaction that creates new substances with different properties. This reaction produces gases such as SO2 and H2S, but when these gases are combined with water, they form liquids like sulfuric acid. This is due to the electrostatic forces and temporary dipoles between molecules, as well as the non-symmetrical nature of molecules like sulfuric acid. While SO3 may initially form as a gas, it easily condenses to a liquid at normal temperatures and pressure.
  • #1
BenDover
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Hydrogen is a gas, sulfur is a solid, oxygen is a gas, why does combining them to produce sulfuric acid produce a liquid?
 
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  • #2
Chemical reactions create new substances with new properties. The properties of the products of a chemical reaction are not necessarily the same as the reactants that produce them.
 
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  • #3
Actually, when you combine these they produce a gas. When you combine the gas with water you get what is commonly known as sulfuric acid. Same goes for hydrochloric acid.
 
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  • #4
As chemistree stated when you burn sulfur with oxygen you first get SO2 then SO3 both of which are gases. SO3 then combines with water, H2O, to form sulfuric acid, H2SO4, a liquid. The forces that hold molecules together are electrostatic. All molecules have temporary dipoles due to the movement of electrons within the molecules. The attraction due to these temporary dipoles is called the Vander Walls force. The larger the molecule the larger the combined attractions (van der Walls force) between the molecules. Additionally, some molecules like sulfuric acid are non-symmetrical meaning that there is an unbalanced distribution of electrons within the molecule. This produces a permanent dipole and as a result, stronger attraction between the molecules. The attraction between molecules is what determines whether you have a gas, a liquid, or a solid. The stronger the forces the higher the melting point and the boiling point.
 
  • #5
Anaerobic breakdown of organic compounds produces 'swamp gas', i.e. hydrogen sulfide, H2S, which is highly flammable, and when combusted it produces H2SO4.
 
  • #6
chemisttree said:
Actually, when you combine these they produce a gas. When you combine the gas with water you get what is commonly known as sulfuric acid. Same goes for hydrochloric acid.
Wrong for sulphuric acid.
At 1 bar partial pressure, SO2 is indeed a gas - condenses at -10 Celsius.
However, SO3 is NOT a gas at 1 bar and 20 Celsius. It easily condenses to a liquid, boiling point +45 Celsius, and less easily to a solid that sublimes at IIRC 62 Celsius.

Note that reaction of hydrogen - a gas, condenses at -253 Celsius - and oxygen - a gas, condenses at -183 Celsius - gives water - a liquid, condenses at +100 Celsius.
 
  • #7
snorkack said:
Wrong for sulphuric acid.
At 1 bar partial pressure, SO2 is indeed a gas - condenses at -10 Celsius.
However, SO3 is NOT a gas at 1 bar and 20 Celsius. It easily condenses to a liquid, boiling point +45 Celsius, and less easily to a solid that sublimes at IIRC 62 Celsius.

Note that reaction of hydrogen - a gas, condenses at -253 Celsius - and oxygen - a gas, condenses at -183 Celsius - gives water - a liquid, condenses at +100 Celsius.
Wrong for SO3. The reaction to produce SO3 occurs at hundreds of degrees C over catalysts and produces a gas at that temperature.
 

Related to Why does combining Hydrogen, Oxygen and Sulphur produce a liquid?

1. Why do Hydrogen, Oxygen, and Sulphur combine to form a liquid?

The combination of Hydrogen, Oxygen, and Sulphur produces a liquid because of the chemical reactions that occur between these elements. When Hydrogen and Oxygen react, they form water molecules, which are liquid at room temperature. The addition of Sulphur to this reaction creates a compound called hydrogen sulfide, which is also a liquid at room temperature.

2. What is the chemical formula for the liquid produced by combining Hydrogen, Oxygen, and Sulphur?

The chemical formula for the liquid produced by combining Hydrogen, Oxygen, and Sulphur is H2O + H2S. This represents the combination of water molecules and hydrogen sulfide molecules.

3. How does the combination of Hydrogen, Oxygen, and Sulphur differ from the combination of Hydrogen and Oxygen alone?

The combination of Hydrogen, Oxygen, and Sulphur differs from the combination of Hydrogen and Oxygen alone because the addition of Sulphur creates a different compound with different properties. While water is a clear and odorless liquid, hydrogen sulfide has a distinct smell and is toxic in high concentrations.

4. Can the liquid produced by combining Hydrogen, Oxygen, and Sulphur be separated back into its individual elements?

Yes, the liquid produced by combining Hydrogen, Oxygen, and Sulphur can be separated back into its individual elements through various chemical processes. For example, the liquid can be boiled to separate the water molecules from the hydrogen sulfide molecules.

5. What are some practical applications of the liquid produced by combining Hydrogen, Oxygen, and Sulphur?

The liquid produced by combining Hydrogen, Oxygen, and Sulphur has various practical applications. It is commonly used in the production of sulfuric acid, which is used in many industrial processes. It is also used as a solvent and in the production of fertilizers and other chemicals.

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