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A pale yellow nonmetallic element in group VI of the periodic table: chemical symbol “S”, atomic number 16, atomic weight 32.066. It occurs widely in nature in its natural state and combined as sulphide or sulphate minerals.

Solid sulphur occurs principally in three forms:

  • rhombic sulphur which has an orthorhombic crystalline structure
  • monoclinic sulphur which has long needle-like crystals
  • amorphous or “plastic” sulphur does not have a crystalline structure and is produced by rapidly cooling molten sulphur.


Sulphur is used in black gunpowder, rubber vulcanisation, the manufacture of insecticides and pharmaceuticals, and in the preparation of sulphur compounds such as hydrogen sulphide and sulphuric acid.

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