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About Sulfur

sulfur Bohr

Because it is abundant and is often found in elemental form, sulfur has been known and used widely for most of human history. In fact, the alchemists regarded sulfur as one of the three basic substances of which everything in the universe was composed. The word “sulfur” comes from a latin root meaning “to burn”, and historically was sometimes used broadly to describe flammable substances. Some of sulfur’s oldest recorded uses were in traditional medicine, fumigation, and bleaching cloths. Later, it was produced in large quantities for use in gunpowder. In the early days of chemistry, popular opinion held that sulfur was a compound, but in 1777 Antoine Lavoisier, often described as a father of modern chemistry, made a compelling case that it was in fact an element, which soon became the dominant view.

The largest use of sulfur is in the production of sulfuric acid, a chemical so essential to modern industry that its consumption is considered one of the best indicators of a nation’s industrial development. In industrial chemistry, it is used in the production of ammonia, aluminum hydroxide, phosphate fertilizers, alums, dyes, and refined petroleum products. It also serves as an acid catalyst and an industrial cleaning agent. Additionally, it is a major component of lead-acid batteries found in most automobiles, as well as some household drain cleaners. It is a component of the sulfur-iodine cycle, a process that has been proposed for production of hydrogen as fuel.

Many other forms of sulfur are important chemical reagents. Elemental sulfur is a necessary component of vulcanized rubber, which is stabilized by disulfide bond crosslinking. Carbon disulfide is an important organic chemistry reagent, used as an industrial non-polar solvent and a key player in the manufacture of polymers such as cellophane and rayon. Sulfur dioxide can be used as a bleaching agents for paper and delicate fabrics, and in wastewater treatment to remove chlorine. Many sulfur compounds, including the common sodium lauryl sulfate, serve as detergents and surfactants, found in everything from personal care products such as shampoo to lab reagents used in molecular biology. Hydrogen sulfide is an important intermediate used to produce metal sulfides and organosulfur components. Sulfur hexafluoride is a gaseous dielectric used in high-voltage circuit breakers and switchgear, as well as in the high-voltage power supplies for scientific equipment such as particle accelerators and electron microscopes. It is also used as an etchant in semiconductor manufacturing, a tracer compound of use for studying spread of toxic agents through the air. Phosphorus sesquisulfide is used to produce “strike anywhere” matches, while other sulfides are used in the production of safety matches.

Elemental sulfur is not toxic to humans, but it can be used as a pesticide. Additionally, many sulfur compounds are used for their toxicity to microbes. Sulfur compounds have long been used in winemaking to prevent the souring caused by bacterial growth during fermentation, and sulfites are often used to preserve food, particularly dried fruit and molasses. Gaseous sulfur compounds that do exhibit toxicity to humans have a history of use in warfare; mustard gas is one example.

Sulfur compounds also play an important role in the technology industry. Several types of lithium ion batteries utilize sulfur compounds, and sodium-sulfur batteries are used in large-scale energy storage applications. Additionally, many sulfide compounds are semiconductors that are either in active use or are the subject of current investigation. Cadmium sulfide is used primarily as a pigment, but can also be used in photoresistors, thin film transistors, and semiconductor lasers. Iron pyrite is abundant, cheap and had favorable chemistry for use in solar cells, though fabrication of actual cells has faced many challenges. Copper zinc tin sulfide is also of interest for use in photovoltaics, particularly in thin film device designs. Molybdenum disulfide, like the nanomaterial graphene, can be grown in layers a single atom thick and is of interest for use in many optoelectronic applications.

As the tenth most abundant element in the universe, sulfur is everywhere. In addition to being found in native deposits, often in regions with volcanic activity, sulfur is a component of sulfide and sulfate minerals, including many which serve as primary ores for the metals they also contain. Some of these minerals are used directly--for instance gypsum, a natural mineral form of calcium sulfate, is both mined directly and recovered as byproduct of other industrial processes for use as a major component of drywall, plaster, and cement. Elemental sulfur may be extracted from many of these minerals or from pure deposits, but today most industrial sulfur production is a side product of other processes, especially the refining of petroleum products, which in their unprocessed form often contain significant amounts of organosulfur compounds.


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Copper Sulfide (CuS) Powder

Sulfur is a crucial element for all life and serves as both fuel and respiratory (oxygen-replacing) material for simple organisms. As a component of the amino acids methionine and cysteine, sulfur is a component of proteins, and sulfur is present in the vitamins thiamine and biotin. Sulfur is available in elemental and compound forms with purities from 99% to 99.999% (ACS grade to ultra-high purity).

Sulfur Properties

Sulfur(S) Aluminum(Al) atomic and molecular weight, atomic number and elemental symbolSulfur is a Block P, Group 16, Period 3 element. Sulfur Bohr ModelThe number of electrons in each of Sulfur's shells is 2, 8, 6 and its electron configuration is [Ne]3s23p4. In its elemental form, CAS 7704-34-9, sulfur has a light yellow appearance. The sulfur atom has a covalent radius of and its Van der Waals radius is In nature, sulfur can be found in hot springs, meteorites, volcanoes, and as galena, gypsum, epsom salts. Sulfur has been known since ancient times but was not accepted as an element until 1777 when Antoine Lavoisier helped to convince the scientific community that sulfur was an element and not a compound.

Symbol: S
Atomic Number: 16
Atomic Weight: 32.06
Element Category: nonmetal
Group, Period, Block: 16 (chalcogens), 3, p
Color: yellow/ lemon yellow
Other Names: Soufre, Schwefel, Di zolfo
Melting Point: 115.21°C, 239.378°F, 388.36 K
Boiling Point: 444.61°C, 832.298°F, 717.76 K
Density: 2086 kg·m3
Liquid Density @ Melting Point: 1.819 g·cm3
Density @ 20°C: 2.07 g/cm3
Density of Solid: 1960 kg·m3
Specific Heat: N/A
Superconductivity Temperature: N/A
Triple Point: N/A
Critical Point: 1314 K, 20.7 MPa
Heat of Fusion (kJ·mol-1): 1.7175
Heat of Vaporization (kJ·mol-1): 9.62
Heat of Atomization (kJ·mol-1): 276.6
Thermal Conductivity: (amorphous) 0.205 W·m-1·K-1
Thermal Expansion: N/A
Electrical Resistivity: (20 °C) (amorphous) 2×1015 nΩ·m
Tensile Strength: N/A
Molar Heat Capacity: 22.75 J·mol-1·K-1
Young's Modulus: N/A
Shear Modulus: N/A
Bulk Modulus: 7.7 GPa
Poisson Ratio: N/A
Mohs Hardness: 2
Vickers Hardness: N/A
Brinell Hardness: N/A
Speed of Sound: N/A
Pauling Electronegativity: 2.58
Sanderson Electronegativity: 2.96
Allred Rochow Electronegativity: 2.44
Mulliken-Jaffe Electronegativity: 2.69 (16.7% s orbital)
Allen Electronegativity: 2.589
Pauling Electropositivity: 1.42
Reflectivity (%): N/A
Refractive Index: 1.001111
Electrons: 16
Protons: 16
Neutrons: 16
Electron Configuration: [Ne]3s23p4
Atomic Radius: N/A
Atomic Radius,
non-bonded (Å):
Covalent Radius: 105±3 pm
Covalent Radius (Å): 1.04
Van der Waals Radius: 180 pm
Oxidation States: 6, 4, 2, -2
Phase: Solid
Crystal Structure: orthorhombic
Magnetic Ordering: diamagnetic
Electron Affinity (kJ·mol-1) 200.4
1st Ionization Energy: 999.6 kJ·mol-1
2nd Ionization Energy: 2251 kJ·mol-1
3rd Ionization Energy: 3360.6 kJ·mol-1
CAS Number: 7704-34-9
EC Number: 231-722-6
MDL Number: MFCD00085316
Beilstein Number: N/A
SMILES Identifier: S
InChI Identifier: InChI=1S/S
PubChem CID: 402
ChemSpider ID: 4515054
Earth - Total: 2.92%
Mercury - Total: 0.24%
Venus - Total: 1.62%
Earth - Seawater (Oceans), ppb by weight: 928000
Earth - Seawater (Oceans), ppb by atoms: 179000
Earth -  Crust (Crustal Rocks), ppb by weight: 420000
Earth -  Crust (Crustal Rocks), ppb by atoms: 270000
Sun - Total, ppb by weight: 400000
Sun - Total, ppb by atoms: 10000
Stream, ppb by weight: 4000
Stream, ppb by atoms: 130
Meterorite (Carbonaceous), ppb by weight: 400000
Meterorite (Carbonaceous), ppb by atoms: 10000
Typical Human Body, ppb by weight: 2000000
Typical Human Body, ppb by atom: 390000
Universe, ppb by weight: 500000
Universe, ppb by atom: 20000
Discovered By: Chinese
Discovery Date: Prior to 2000 BC
First Isolation: N/A

Health, Safety & Transportation Information for Sulfur

Safety data for Sulfur and its compounds can vary widely depending on the form. For potential hazard information, toxicity, and road, sea and air transportation limitations, such as DOT Hazard Class, DOT Number, EU Number, NFPA Health rating and RTECS Class, please see the specific material or compound referenced in the Products tab. The below information applies to nanoscale sulfur (Sulfur Nanoparticles).

Safety Data
Signal Word Warning
Hazard Statements H315
Hazard Codes Xi
Risk Codes 38
Safety Precautions 46
RTECS Number N/A
Transport Information UN 1350 4.1/PG 3
WGK Germany 1
Globally Harmonized System of
Classification and Labelling (GHS)
Exclamation Mark-Acute Toxicity
Review and Print SDS for Elemental Sulfur


Date Created: 05/15/2015
Date Revised: 05/15/2015


Product Name: Sulfur Nanoparticles

Product Number: All applicable American Elements product codes, e.g. S-E-02-NP, S-E-03-NP, S-E-04-NP, S-E-05-NP

CAS #: 7704-34-9

Relevant identified uses of the substance: Scientific research and development

Supplier details:
American Elements
1093 Broxton Ave. Suite 2000
Los Angeles, CA 90024
Tel: +1 310-208-0551
Fax: +1 310-208-0351

Emergency telephone number:
Domestic, North America +1 800-424-9300
International +1 703-527-3887


Classification of the substance or mixture in accordance with 29 CFR 1910 (OSHA HCS)
GHS02 Flame
Flam. Sol. 1 H228 Flammable solid.
Skin Irrit. 2 H315 Causes skin irritation.
Hazards not otherwise classified
No information known.

Exclamation Mark - GHS07 Flame - GHS02

Label elements
GHS label elements
The product is classified and labeled in accordance with 29 CFR 1910 (OSHA HCS)
Hazard pictograms
Signal word
Hazard statements
H228 Flammable solid.
H315 Causes skin irritation.
Precautionary statements
P210 Keep away from heat/sparks/open flames/hot surfaces. - No smoking.
P280 Wear protective gloves/protective clothing/eye protection/face protection.
P240 Ground/bond container and receiving equipment.
P241 Use explosion-proof electrical/ventilating/lighting/equipment.
P362 Take off contaminated clothing and wash before reuse.
P321 Specific treatment (see on this label).
WHMIS classification
B4 - Flammable solid
D2B - Toxic material causing other toxic effects
Classification system
HMIS ratings (scale 0-4)
(Hazardous Materials Identification System)
Health (acute effects) = 1
Flammability = 2
Physical Hazard = 0
Other hazards
Results of PBT and vPvB assessment
Not applicable.
Not applicable.


Chemical characterization: Substances
CAS# Description: 7704-34-9 Sulphur
Identification number(s):
EC number: 231-722-6
Index number: 016-094-00-1


Description of first aid measures
After inhalation
Supply fresh air. If required, provide artificial respiration. Keep patient warm.
Seek immediate medical advice.
After skin contact
Immediately wash with water and soap and rinse thoroughly.
Seek immediate medical advice.
After eye contact
Rinse opened eye for several minutes under running water. Then consult a doctor.
After swallowing
Seek medical treatment.
Information for doctor
Most important symptoms and effects, both acute and delayed
No further relevant information available.
Indication of any immediate medical attention and special treatment needed
No further relevant information available.


Extinguishing media
Suitable extinguishing agents
Carbon dioxide, extinguishing powder or water spray. Fight larger fires with water spray or alcohol resistant foam.
Special hazards arising from the substance or mixture
If this product is involved in a fire, the following can be released:
Sulfur oxides (SOx)
Hydrogen sulfide
Advice for firefighters
Protective equipment:
Wear self-contained respirator.
Wear fully protective impervious suit.


Personal precautions, protective equipment and emergency procedures
Wear protective equipment. Keep unprotected persons away.
Ensure adequate ventilation
Keep away from ignition sources
Environmental precautions:
Do not allow material to be released to the environment without proper governmental permits.
Methods and material for containment and cleaning up:
Keep away from ignition sources.
Ensure adequate ventilation.
Prevention of secondary hazards:
Keep away from ignition sources.
Reference to other sections
See Section 7 for information on safe handling
See Section 8 for information on personal protection equipment.
See Section 13 for disposal information.


Precautions for safe handling
Keep container tightly sealed.
Store in cool, dry place in tightly closed containers.
Ensure good ventilation at the workplace.
Information about protection against explosions and fires:
Protect against electrostatic charges.
Conditions for safe storage, including any incompatibilities
Requirements to be met by storerooms and receptacles:
Store in a cool location.
Information about storage in one common storage facility:
Store away from oxidizing agents.
Store away from halocarbons.
Do not store with interhalogens.
Further information about storage conditions:
Keep container tightly sealed.
Store in cool, dry conditions in well sealed containers.
Specific end use(s)
No further relevant information available.


Additional information about design of technical systems:
Properly operating chemical fume hood designed for hazardous chemicals and having an average face velocity of at least 100 feet per minute.
Control parameters
Components with limit values that require monitoring at the workplace:
The product does not contain any relevant quantities of materials with critical values that have to be monitored at the workplace.
Additional information:
No data
Exposure controls
Personal protective equipment
General protective and hygienic measures
The usual precautionary measures for handling chemicals should be followed.
Keep away from foodstuffs, beverages and feed.
Remove all soiled and contaminated clothing immediately.
Wash hands before breaks and at the end of work.
Avoid contact with the eyes and skin.
Maintain an ergonomically appropriate working environment.
Breathing equipment:
Use suitable respirator when high concentrations are present.
Recommended filter device for short term use:
Use a respirator with type N95 (USA) or PE (EN 143) cartridges as a backup to engineering controls. Risk assessment should be performed to determine if air-purifying respirators are appropriate. Only use equipment tested and approved under appropriate government standards.
Protection of hands:
Impervious gloves
Check protective gloves prior to each use for their proper condition.
The selection of suitable gloves not only depends on the material, but also on quality. Quality will vary from manufacturer to manufacturer.
Material of gloves
Nitrile rubber, NBR
Penetration time of glove material (in minutes)
Glove thickness
0.11 mm
Eye protection:
Safety glasses


Information on basic physical and chemical properties
General Information
Various forms (powder/flake/crystalline/beads, etc.)
Pale yellow
Odor threshold:
Not determined.
Not applicable.
Change in condition
Melting point/Melting range:
115.21 °C (239 °F)
Boiling point/Boiling range:
444.6 °C (832 °F)
Sublimation temperature / start:
Not determined
Flash point:
> 999 °C (> 1830 °F)
Flammability (solid, gaseous)
Highly flammable.
Ignition temperature:
248 °C (478 °F)
Decomposition temperature:
Not determined
Auto igniting:
Not determined.
Danger of explosion:
Not determined.
Explosion limits:
3.3 Vol %
46 Vol %
Vapor pressure:
Not applicable.
Density at 20 °C (68 °F):
2.07 g/cm³ (17.274 lbs/gal)
Relative density
Not determined.
Vapor density
Not applicable.
Evaporation rate
Not applicable.
Solubility in / Miscibility with Water:
Partition coefficient (n-octanol/water):
Not determined.
Not applicable.
Not applicable.
Other information
No further relevant information available.


No information known.
Chemical stability
Stable under recommended storage conditions.
Thermal decomposition / conditions to be avoided:
Decomposition will not occur if used and stored according to specifications.
Possibility of hazardous reactions
Reacts with strong oxidizing agents
Conditions to avoid
No further relevant information available.
Incompatible materials:
Oxidizing agents
Hazardous decomposition products:
Sulfur oxides (SOx)
Hydrogen sulfide


Information on toxicological effects
Acute toxicity:
The Registry of Toxic Effects of Chemical Substances (RTECS) contains acute toxicity data for components in this product.
LD/LC50 values that are relevant for classification:
Inhalative LC50 1660 mg/m3 (mam)
Skin irritation or corrosion:
Causes skin irritation.
Eye irritation or corrosion:
May cause irritation
No sensitizing effects known.
Germ cell mutagenicity:
No effects known.
No classification data on carcinogenic properties of this material is available from the EPA, IARC, NTP, OSHA or ACGIH.
Reproductive toxicity:
No effects known.
Specific target organ system toxicity - repeated exposure:
No effects known.
Specific target organ system toxicity - single exposure:
No effects known.
Aspiration hazard:
No effects known.
Subacute to chronic toxicity:
No effects known.
Additional toxicological information:
To the best of our knowledge the acute and chronic toxicity of this substance is not fully known.
Carcinogenic categories
OSHA-Ca (Occupational Safety & Health Administration)
Substance is not listed.


Aquatic toxicity:
No further relevant information available.
Persistence and degradability
No further relevant information available.
Bioaccumulative potential
No further relevant information available.
Mobility in soil
No further relevant information available.
Additional ecological information:
General notes:
Do not allow material to be released to the environment without proper governmental permits.
Avoid transfer into the environment.
Results of PBT and vPvB assessment
Not applicable.
Not applicable.
Other adverse effects
No further relevant information available.


Waste treatment methods
Consult state, local or national regulations to ensure proper disposal.
Uncleaned packagings:
Disposal must be made according to official regulations.


UN proper shipping name
Transport hazard class(es)
4.1 Flammable solids, self-reactive substances and solid desensitised explosives.
4.1 (F3) Flammable solids, self-reactive substances and solid desensitised explosives
4.1 Flammable solids, self-reactive substances and solid desensitised explosives.
Packing group
Environmental hazards:
Not applicable.
Special precautions for user
Warning: Flammable solids, self-reactive substances and solid desensitised explosives
EMS Number:
Transport in bulk according to Annex II of MARPOL73/78 and the IBC Code
Not applicable.
Transport/Additional information:
Marine Pollutant (DOT):
UN "Model Regulation":
UN1350, Sulfur, 4.1, III


Safety, health and environmental regulations/legislation specific for the substance or mixture
GHS label elements
The product is classified and labeled in accordance with 29 CFR 1910 (OSHA HCS)
Hazard pictograms
Signal word
Hazard statements
H228 Flammable solid.
H315 Causes skin irritation.
Precautionary statements
P210 Keep away from heat/sparks/open flames/hot surfaces. - No smoking.
P280 Wear protective gloves/protective clothing/eye protection/face protection.
P240 Ground/bond container and receiving equipment.
P241 Use explosion-proof electrical/ventilating/lighting/equipment.
P362 Take off contaminated clothing and wash before reuse.
P321 Specific treatment (see on this label).
National regulations
All components of this product are listed in the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency Toxic Substances Control Act Chemical substance Inventory.
All components of this product are listed on the Canadian Domestic Substances List (DSL).
SARA Section 313 (specific toxic chemical listings)
Substance is not listed.
California Proposition 65
Prop 65 - Chemicals known to cause cancer
Substance is not listed.
Prop 65 - Developmental toxicity
Substance is not listed.
Prop 65 - Developmental toxicity, female
Substance is not listed.
Prop 65 - Developmental toxicity, male
Substance is not listed.
Information about limitation of use:
For use only by technically qualified individuals.
Other regulations, limitations and prohibitive regulations
Substance of Very High Concern (SVHC) according to the REACH Regulations (EC) No. 1907/2006.
Substance is not listed.
The conditions of restrictions according to Article 67 and Annex XVII of the Regulation (EC) No 1907/2006 (REACH) for the manufacturing, placing on the market and use must be observed.
Substance is not listed.
Annex XIV of the REACH Regulations (requiring Authorisation for use)
Substance is not listed.
Chemical safety assessment:
A Chemical Safety Assessment has not been carried out.


Safety Data Sheet according to Regulation (EC) No. 1907/2006 (REACH). The above information is believed to be correct but does not purport to be all inclusive and shall be used only as a guide. The information in this document is based on the present state of our knowledge and is applicable to the product with regard to appropriate safety precautions. It does not represent any guarantee of the properties of the product. American Elements shall not be held liable for any damage resulting from handling or from contact with the above product. See reverse side of invoice or packing slip for additional terms and conditions of sale. COPYRIGHT 1997-2016 AMERICAN ELEMENTS. LICENSED GRANTED TO MAKE UNLIMITED PAPER COPIES FOR INTERNAL USE ONLY.

Sulfur Isotopes

Sulfur (S) has four stable isotopes: 32S (95.02%), 33S (0.75%), 34S (4.21%), and 36S (0.02%).

Nuclide Isotopic Mass Half-Life Mode of Decay Nuclear Spin Magnetic Moment Binding Energy (MeV) Natural Abundance
(% by atom)
26S 26.02788(32)# 10# ms 2p to 24Si 0+ N/A 166.94 -
27S 27.01883(22)# 15.5(15) ms ß+ to 27P; ß+ + 2p to 25Al; ß+ + p to 26Si (5/2+) N/A 183.4 -
28S 28.00437(17) 125(10) ms ß+ to 28P; ß+ + p to 27Si 0+ N/A 204.52 -
29S 28.99661(5) 187(4) ms ß+ to 29P; ß+ + p to 28Si 5/2+ N/A 220.06 -
30S 29.984903(3) 1.178(5) s EC to 30P 0+ N/A 239.31 -
31S 30.9795547(16) 2.572(13) s EC to 31P 1/2+ N/A 252.05 -
32S 31.97207100(15) STABLE - 0+ 0 266.65 94.93
33S 32.97145876(15) STABLE - 3/2+ 0.643821 275.66 0.76
34S 33.96786690(12) STABLE - 0+ 0 287.47 4.29
35S 34.96903216(11) 87.51(12) d ß- to 35Cl 3/2+ 1 293.68 -
36S 35.96708076(20) STABLE - 0+ 0 303.62 0.02
37S 36.97112557(21) 5.05(2) min ß- to 37Cl 7/2- N/A 307.98 -
38S 37.971163(8) 170.3(7) min ß- to 38Cl 0+ N/A 316.06 -
39S 38.97513(5) 11.5(5) s ß- to 39Cl (3/2,5/2,7/2)- N/A 320.41 -
40S 39.97545(15) 8.8(22) s ß- to 40Cl 0+ N/A 328.49 -
41S 40.97958(13) 1.99(5) s ß- to 41Cl; ß- + n to 40Cl (7/2-)# N/A 332.84 -
42S 41.98102(13) 1.013(15) s ß- to 42Cl; ß- + n to 41Cl 0+ N/A 339.05 -
43S 42.98715(22) 260(15) ms ß- to 43Cl; ß- + n to 42Cl 3/2-# N/A 341.54 -
44S 43.99021(42) 100(1) ms ß- to 43Cl; ß- + n to 43Cl 0+ N/A 346.83 -
45S 44.99651(187) 68(2) ms ß- + n to 44Cl; ß- to 45Cl 3/2-# N/A 349.32 -
46S 46.00075(75)# 50(8) ms ß- to 46Cl 0+ N/A 353.67 -
47S 47.00859(86)# 20# ms [>200 ns] ß- to 47Cl 3/2-# N/A 354.29 -
48S 48.01417(97)# 10# ms [>200 ns] ß- to 48Cl 0+ N/A 356.78 -
49S 49.02362(102)# <200 ns n to 48S 3/2-# N/A 356.48 -