It is recognizable because of its yellow color.
Sulfur is dangerous when mixed with oxygen or hydrogen.
A nonmetal, sulfur is the 10th most abundant element in the universe.
Sulfur makes up almost 3 % of the Earth's mass.
That is enough sulfur to make 2 additional moons.
Sulfur can be found in a lot of different places on Earth, such as volcanic eruptions, hot springs, and underground vents. It can also be mined from underground deposits.
In its native form sulfur is a yellow crystalline solid.
In nature it occurs as the pure element or as sulfide and sulfate minerals.
Today, it's most common use is in the manufacture of sulfuric acid, which in turn goes into fertilizers, car batteries and cleaners.
It's also used to refine oil and in processing ores.
Sulfur also helps in the making of cement, rubber, and detergents.
Sulfur is a byproduct of the refinement of fossil fuels into usable energy sources like gasoline.
This refinement is a good thing for preventing sulfur compounds from heading skyward when the fuel is burned, causing acid rain.
But it leads to hills of elemental sulfur piling up in refineries.
The properties of sulfur are:
- Atomic number (number of protons in the nucleus): 16
- Atomic symbol (on the Periodic Table of Elements): S
- Atomic weight (average mass of the atom): 32.065
- Density: 2.067 grams per cubic centimeter
- Phase at room temperature: Solid
- Melting point: 115.21 degrees Celsius
- Boiling point: 444.6 degrees Celsius
- Number of isotopes (atoms of the same element with a different number of neutrons): 23
- Most common isotopes: S-32 (94.99 % natural abundance), S-33 (0.75 %), S-34 (4.25 %), S-36 (0.01 %)
The stink associated with the element comes from many of its compounds.
For example, sulfur compounds called mercaptans give skunks their defensive odor.
«Sulphur» is the common spelling in the United Kingdom, while «sulfur» is preferred in America.
But scientifically speaking, «sulfur» is correct, according to the International Union of Pure and Applied Chemistry.