Sulfur: reactions of elements

Reaction of sulfur with air

Sulphur burns in air to form the gaseous dioxide sulphur(IV) oxide, SO2.

S8(s) + 8O2(g) → 8SO2(g)

Reaction of sulfur with water

Sulphur does not react with water under normal conditions.

Reaction of sulfur with the halogens

Sulphur racts with all the halogens upon heating.

Sulphur reacts with fluorine, F2, and burns to form the hexafluoride sulphur(VI) fluoride.

S8(s) + 24F2(g) → 8SF6(l) [orange]

Molten sulphur reacts with molten sulphur to form disulphur dichloride, S2Cl2. This apparently smells dreadfully. With excess chlorine and in the presence of a catalyst, such as FeCl3, Snl4, etc., it is possible to make a mixture containing an equilibrium mixture of red sulphur(II) chloride, SCl2, and disulphur dichloride, S2Cl2

S8 + 4Cl2 → 4S2Cl2(l) [orange]

S2Cl2(l) + Cl2 ⇌ 2SCl2(l) [dark red]

Reaction of sulfur with acids

Sulphur does not react with dilute non-oxidizing acids.

Reaction of sulfur with bases

Sulphur reacts with hot aqueous potassium hydroxide, KOH, to form sulphide and thiosulphate species.

S8(s) + 6KOH(aq) → 2K2S3 + K2S2O3 + 3H2O(l)

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