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Sulphur is a chemical element with symbol S and atomic number 16. In its native form sulphur is a yellow crystalline solid. It is obtained from pure element or as sulfide and sulfate minerals. The crystallography of sulphur is complex. Depending on the specific conditions, sulphur allotropes form several distinct crystal structures.

Sulphur is recovered from oil and gas production is known as elemental sulphur. It can be combined with various compounds such as sulphuric acid. Plants absorb sulphur from the soil as sulphate. Major derivative of sulphur is sulphuric acid (H2SO4), used as an industrial raw material. Canada is the main producer for Sulphur.

Sulphur Concrete is a new corrosion-resistant material that contains stones, mineral filter and sulphur polymer cement binder. It is mixed and placed at an elevated temperature. It gains high strength over a few hours of cooling and provides an economic long-term performance in many harsh environments.


Sulphur is the world’s most widely used chemical. It is an essential intermediate in many processes in chemical and manufacturing industries. Sulphuric acid is used by the fertilizer industry to manufacture phosphates, potassium, and nitrogen and sulphate fertilizers. It is also used for manufacturing other products, including non-ferrous metals, fibers, agricultural pesticides, cosmetics, water treatment and steel pickling.

Why plants need sulphur?

Nitrogen, phosphorus and potassium is essential for plant nutrient. It contributes to increase in crop yields in different ways:

  • It provides a direct nutritive value.
  • It provides indirect nutritive value as soil also, especially for calcareous and saline alkali soils.
  • It also improves the use of efficiency of other essential plant nutrients, particularly nitrogen and phosphorus. Sulphur is very necessary mineral for plant growth and nutrition.

Sulphur is produced all over the world. Largest production occurs when gas and oil processed and refined. Over half of global sulphuric acid production is traded internationally. China is the world’s largest importer, followed by United States. Canada is the largest exporter, followed by Russia and Saudi Arabia.

Sulphur effects on health

All living things need sulphur. It is very necessary for human because it is part of the amino acid methionine, which is absolute dietry requirement for us. A person takes around 900 mg of sulphur per day, mainly in the form of protein.

Globally sulphuric substances can have the following effects on human health:

  • Heart damage
  • Damage to immune systems
  • Disturbance of blood circulation
  • Hearing defects

Sulphur effects on environment

Sulphur is found in many forms in the air. It is applied widely in industrial areas and emitted to air. Damage effect of sulphur with animals is mostly brain damage and damage of the nervous system. Sulphur can damage the internal enzyme systems of animals.

Fertilizers containing sulphate: It provides most of the fertilizer sulphur applied to soils. The most popular sources are ammonium sulphate, single superphosphate, gypsum etc.

Fertilizers containing elemental sulphate: These type of sulphate contains most concentrated sulphur carriers. Elemental sulphur has to be oxidized into sulphate to improve the effectiveness of elemental sulphur by providing elemental sulphur in an acceptable physical form so that it can be used for direct application and can be converted more readily to sulphate form in the soil.