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Offline Mr Smart

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« on: September 08, 2014, 10:34:55 AM »
Sulphur Sulphur is a non metal element in group 6  of the periodic table. Sulphur has many useful properties which make it widely  used in the industry.
 Sources of Sulphur:  Sulphur is found in many places in the  world in different forms. It usually exists in volcanic regions in USA, Mexico  and Sicily. Sulphur could also be obtained from some metal ores like Copper pyrites (CuFeS2) and Blende (ZnS).
 Properties of Sulphur:  In room temperature, sulphur is a yellow,  brittle solid which doesnít conduct electricity as it is a non-metal. Sulphur  is insoluble in water. It is able to react with both metals and non-metals.
 Sulphur Dioxide:  Sulphur dioxide is the product of combustion  of sulphur or sulphur-containing fuels. As you have studied in the previous  chapter, it is an air pollutant as it causes acid rain. However, SO2 has  important uses too:
  • Bleaching wood pulp for the manufacturing  of paper
  • It is used as a food preservative as it  kills bacteria
  • Manufacturing of Sulphuric acid
 Contact Process (Manufacturing of Sulphuric  Acid):  Sulphuric acid is one of the most important  chemicals in the industry since it has a role in the manufacturing of almost  every product. Sulphuric acid is manufactured by a process called Contact Process and it involves several steps:
  • Making the sulphur dioxide
  • Converting the sulphur dioxide into sulphur trioxide
  • Converting the sulphur trioxide into sulphuric acid
1. Making the sulphur dioxide Sulphur is first burned in air producing sulphur dioxide:
S(s)+ O2(g)→ SO2(g)
2. Converting the sulphur dioxide into sulphur trioxide: This is a reversible reaction, and the formation of the sulphur trioxide is exothermic.
2SO2(g) + O2(g) ⇌ 2SO3(g)
3. Converting the sulphur trioxide into sulphuric acid This can't be done by simply adding water to the sulphur trioxide -   the reaction is so uncontrollable that it creates a fog of sulphuric   acid.  Instead, the sulphur trioxide is first dissolved in concentrated   sulphuric acid:
H2SO4(l) + SO3(g) → H2S2O7(l)
The product is known as fuming sulphuric acid or oleum.
This can then be reacted safely with water to produce concentrated   sulphuric acid - twice as much as you originally used to make the fuming   sulphuric acid.
H2S2O7(l) + H2O(l) → 2 H2SO4(l)
The average percentage yield of this reaction is around 30%.
 Properties & Uses of Sulphuric Acid:  Sulphuric acid is a very strong acid. It is  a dibasic acid which means it every molecule of it produces two hydrogen ions  when it is dissolved in water. Sulphuric acid has some other unique properties. For example, it is a dehydrating agent. This means it eliminates water from  compounds.
E.g.: CuSO4.5H2O[/t][/t]
CuSO4 +  5H2O
E.g.: C6H12O6
6C +  6H2O
  It is also a drying agent. This means it  removes water from mixtures. Donít confuse that dehydrating agent.


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