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Sulphur

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Formula:
S
 
8
System:OrthorhombicColour:Yellow, sulphur-yellow, ...
Lustre:Resinous, GreasyHardness:1½ - 2½
Member of:Sulphur Group
Name:A name in Middle English introduced at least as early as 1390. Also known as brimstone. Theophrastus (~300 BCE) wrote μαλώδης (an otherwise unknown word) for what may be sulfur impregnated pumice, but Caley and Richards (1956) in their analysis and translation of Περι Λιθον Peri Lithon suggest that the actual word should have been μηλώδης meaning quince-yellow. Other interpretations have been given.
Polymorph of:β-Sulphur, Rosickýite


Sulphur Group.

Crystals are usually yellow to yellowish-brown blocky dipyramids, with thick tabular and disphenoidal crystals less common. Also found more typically as powdery yellow coatings. Native sulphur is usually formed from volcanic action - as a sublimate from volcanic gasses associated with realgar, cinnabar and other minerals. It is also found in some vein deposits and as an alteration product of sulphide minerals. It can also be formed biogenically.


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Classification of Sulphur

IMA status:Valid - first described prior to 1959 (pre-IMA) - "Grandfathered"
Strunz 8th edition ID:1/B.03-10
Nickel-Strunz 10th (pending) edition ID:1.CC.05

1 : ELEMENTS (Metals and intermetallic alloys; metalloids and nonmetals; carbides, silicides, nitrides, phosphides)
C : Metalloids and Nonmetals
C : Sulfur-selenium-iodine
Dana 7th edition ID:1.3.4.1
Dana 8th edition ID:1.3.5.1

1 : NATIVE ELEMENTS AND ALLOYS
3 : Semi-metals and non-metals
Hey's CIM Ref.:1.51

1 : Elements and Alloys (including the arsenides, antimonides and bismuthides of Cu, Ag and Au)
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Occurrences of Sulphur

Geological Setting:Usually formed from volcanic action - as a sublimate from volcanic gasses associated with realgar, cinnabar and other minerals. It is also found in some vein deposits and as an alteration product of sulphide minerals. It can also be formed biogenically - a major source being salt domes, where it has formed by the bacterial decomposition of calcium sulfate.

Physical Properties of Sulphur

Lustre:Resinous, Greasy
Diaphaneity (Transparency):Transparent, Translucent
Colour:Yellow, sulphur-yellow, brownish or greenish yellow, orange, white
Streak:Colourless
Hardness (Mohs):1½ - 2½
Hardness Data:Measured
Tenacity:Brittle
Cleavage:Imperfect/Fair
Imperfect on {001}, {110} and {111}.
Parting:Parting on {111}
Fracture:Irregular/Uneven, Conchoidal
Comment:Also can be somewhat sectile
Density (measured):2.07 g/cm3
Density (calculated):2.076 g/cm3

Crystallography of Sulphur

Crystal System:Orthorhombic
Class (H-M):mmm (2/m 2/m 2/m) - Dipyramidal
Space Group:Fddd
Cell Parameters:a = 10.468Å, b = 12.870Å, c = 24.49Å
Ratio:a:b:c = 0.813 : 1 : 1.903
Unit Cell Volume:V 3,299.37 ų (Calculated from Unit Cell)
Z:128
Morphology:Over 50 forms have been noted, blocky dipyramidal ones most common, also tabular and sphenoidal; also found as powdery coatings, massive material, and in reniform and stalactic forms.
Twinning:On {101}{011}{110} rare.
Crystal Atlas:
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Sulfur no.1 - Goldschmidt (1913-1926)
Sulfur no.8 - Goldschmidt (1913-1926)
Sulfur no.81 - Goldschmidt (1913-1926)
Sulfur no.116 - Goldschmidt (1913-1926)

About Crystal Atlas

The mindat.org Crystal Atlas allows you to view a selection of crystal drawings of real and idealised crystal forms for this mineral and, in certain cases, 3d rotating crystal objects. The 3d models and HTML5 code are kindly provided by www.smorf.nl.

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X-Ray Powder Diffraction:
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Radiation - Copper Kα
Data Set:
Horizontal Axis: ° to ° Vertical Axis: % Source Data: Filtered Data:
Data courtesy of RRUFF project at University of Arizona, used with permission.
X-Ray Powder Diffraction:
d-spacingIntensity
3.85(100)
3.44(40)
3.33(30)
3.21(60)
3.11(30)
3.08(20)
2.84(20)
2.62(10)
Comments:Data given are for synthetic material.

Optical Data of Sulphur

Type:Biaxial (+)
RI values: nα = 1.958 nβ = 2.038 nγ = 2.245
2V:Measured: 68° , Calculated: 70°
Maximum Birefringence:δ = 0.287

Chart shows birefringence interference colour range (at 30µm thickness) and does not take into account mineral colouration.
Surface Relief:Very High
Dispersion:relatively weak r< v
Pleochroism:Visible

Chemical Properties of Sulphur

Formula:
S
 
8
Simplified for copy/paste:S8
Essential elements:S
All elements listed in formula:S
Analytical Data:Sulphur, orthorhombic, is alpha-S, while rosickýite, monoclinic, is gamma-S.
Common Impurities:Se,Te

Relationship of Sulphur to other Species

Member of:Sulphur Group
Other Members of Group:

- +
Related Minerals - Nickel-Strunz Grouping):

- +
1.CC.05Rosickýite
S
1.CC.10Selenium
Se
1.CC.10Tellurium
Te
Related Minerals - Hey's Index Grouping:

- +
1.1Copper
Cu
1.2Silver
Ag
1.5Gold
Au
1.6Auricupride
Cu
 
3
Au
1.7Tetra-auricupride
AuCu
1.8Zinc
Zn
1.9Cadmium
Cd
1.10Danbaite
CuZn
 
2
1.11Zhanghengite
CuZn
1.12Mercury
Hg
1.13Kolymite
Cu
 
7
Hg
 
6
1.14Moschellandsbergite
Ag
 
2
Hg
 
3
1.15Eugenite
Ag
 
11
Hg
 
2
1.16Schachnerite
Ag
 
1.1
Hg
 
0.9
1.17Paraschachnerite
Ag
 
3
Hg
 
2
1.18Luanheite
Ag
 
3
Hg
1.19Weishanite
(Au,Ag)
 
3
Hg
 
2
1.20Indium
In
1.21Aluminium
Al
1.22Khatyrkite
(Cu,Zn)Al
 
2
1.23Cupalite
(Cu,Zn)Al
1.24Diamond
C
1.25Graphite
C
1.26Chaoite
C
1.27Lonsdaleite
C
1.28Silicon
Si
1.29Tin
Sn
1.30Lead
Pb
1.31Anyuiite
Au(Pb,Sb)
 
2
1.31Novodneprite
AuPb
 
3
1.32Leadamalgam
Pb
 
0.7
Hg
 
0.3
1.33Arsenic
As
1.34Arsenolamprite
As
1.35Paxite
CuAs
 
2
1.36Koutekite
Cu
 
5
As
 
2
1.37Domeykite
Cu
 
3
As
1.38Algodonite
(Cu
 
1-x
As
 
x
)
1.39Novakite
Cu
 
20
AgAs
 
10
1.40Kutinaite
Ag
 
6
Cu
 
14
As
 
7
1.41Antimony
Sb
1.42Stibarsen
AsSb
1.43Paradocrasite
Sb
 
3
As
1.44Horsfordite
Cu, Sb
1.45Cuprostibite
Cu
 
2
(Sb,Tl)
1.46Allargentum
(Ag
 
1-x
Sb
 
x
)
1.47Aurostibite
AuSb
 
2
1.48Dyscrasite
Ag
 
3
Sb
1.49Bismuth
Bi
1.50Maldonite
Au
 
2
Bi
1.52Rosickýite
S
1.53Selenium
Se
1.54Tellurium
Te
1.55Chromium
Cr
1.56Rhenium
Re
1.57Iron
Fe
1.58Chromferide
Fe
 
3
Cr
 
1-x
(x=0.6)
1.59Ferchromide
Cr
 
3
Fe
 
1-x
1.60Wairauite
CoFe
1.61Nickel
Ni
1.62Kamacite
(Fe,Ni)
1.63Taenite
(Fe,Ni)
1.64Tetrataenite
FeNi
1.65Awaruite
Ni
 
3
Fe
1.66Palladium
(Pd,Pt)
1.67Potarite
PdHg
1.68Paolovite
Pd
 
2
Sn
1.69Stannopalladinite
(Pd,Cu)
 
3
Sn
 
2
1.70Cabriite
Pd
 
2
CuSn
1.71Taimyrite-I
(Pd,Cu,Pt)
 
3
Sn
1.72Atokite
(Pd,Pt)
 
3
Sn
1.73Rustenburgite
(Pt,Pd)
 
3
Sn
1.74Zvyagintsevite
(Pd,Pt,Au)
 
3
(Pb,Sn)
1.75Plumbopalladinite
Pd
 
3
Pb
 
2
1.76Osmium
(Os,Ir,Ru)
1.77Iridium
(Ir,Os,Ru)
1.82Platinum
Pt
1.83Hongshiite
PtCu
1.84Niggliite
PtSn
1.85Isoferroplatinum
Pt
 
3
Fe
1.86Tetraferroplatinum
PtFe
1.87Tulameenite
Pt
 
2
CuFe
1.88Ferronickelplatinum
Pt
 
2
FeNi
1.89Rhodium
(Rh,Pt)
Related Minerals - Dana Grouping):

- +
1.3.4.2Rosickýite
S

Other Names for Sulphur

Synonyms:
α-SulfurAlpha-SulfurAlpha-Sulphurα-Sulphura-Sulphur
BrimstoneNative SNative SulfurNative SulphurSulfur-alpha
Sulfur-αSulphur-alphaSulphur-α
Other Languages:
Afrikaans:Swawel
Albanian:Squfuri
Anglo-Saxon:Sulfur
Arabic:كبريت
Armenian:Ծծումբ
Asturian:Azufre
Aymara:Asuphri
Azeri:Kükürd
Basque:Sufre
Belarusian:Сера
Bengali:গন্ধক
Bosnian (Latin Script):Sumpor
Bulgarian:Сяра
Catalan:Sofre
Corsican:Zolfu
Croatian:Sumpor
Czech:Síra
Danish:Svovl
Dutch:Zwavel
Erzya:Палыкандал
Esperanto:Sulfuro
Estonian:Väävel
Finnish:Rikki
French:Soufre
Friulian:Solfar
Galician:Xofre
German:Schwefel
Gediegen Schwefel
Greek:Θείο
Guarani:Itaysy
Haitian:Souf
Hakka:Liù-vòng
Hebrew:גופרית
Hindi:गन्धक
Hungarian:Kén
Icelandic:Brennisteinn
Ido:Sulfo
Indonesian:Belerang
Irish Gaelic:Sulfar
Italian:Zolfo
Solfo
Japanese:自然硫黄
Javanese:Welirang
Kannada:ಗಂಧಕ
Korean:
Kurdish (Latin Script):Kibrît
Latin:Sulphur
Latvian:Sērs
Limburgian:Solfer
Lithuanian:Siera
Lojban:sliri
Low Saxon:Swevel
Luxembourgish:Schwiefel
Macedonian:Сулфур
Malayalam:ഗന്ധകം
Maori:Pungatara
Marathi:सल्फर
Mongolian (Cyrillic Script):Хүхэр
Nahuatl:Tlequiquiztlālli
Norwegian (Bokmål):Svovel
Norwegian (Nynorsk):Svovel
Novial:Sulfre
Occitan:Sofre
Persian:گوگرد
Polish:Siarka
Portuguese:Enxofre
Quechua:Salina
Romanian:Sulf
Russian:Сера
Serbian (Cyrillic Script):Сумпор
Serbo-Croatian:Sumpor
Sicilian:Sùrfuru
Simplified Chinese:自然硫
硫华
Slovak:Síra
Slovenian:Žveplo
Spanish:Azufre
Sundanese:Walirang
Swahili:Sulfuri
Swedish:Svavel
Tamil:கந்தகம்
Telugu:గంధకము
Thai:กำมะถัน
Traditional Chinese:自然硫
Turkish:Kükürt
Ukrainian:Сірка
Upper Sorbian:Syrik
Uzbek (Latin Script):Oltingugurt
Vietnamese:Lưu huỳnh
Welsh:Sylffwr
West Flemish:Sulfer
Yiddish:שװעבל
Varieties:
Selenian Sulphur

Other Information

Thermal Behaviour:With a low melting point of 113 degrees C, sulphur burns readily in air, with a low blue flame, and gives off choking fumes of sulphur-dioxide - acrid odor (forms sulphurous and eventually sulphuric acid in air).
Health Warning:No information on health risks for this material has been entered into the database. You should always treat mineral specimens with care.
Industrial Uses:Used in a great many applications, ranging from matches and fireworks to rubber.

References for Sulphur

Reference List:

- +
Palache, Charles, Harry Berman & Clifford Frondel (1944), The System of Mineralogy of James Dwight Dana and Edward Salisbury Dana Yale University 1837-1892, Volume I: Elements, Sulfides, Sulfosalts, Oxides. John Wiley and Sons, Inc., New York. 7th edition, revised and enlarged, 834pp.: 140-144.

Ventriglia U. – (1951) Sulla struttura dello zolfo rombico. Periodico di Mineralogia – Roma pp. 237-255.

Acta Crystallographica (1987): C43: 2260-2262.

Gaines, Richard V., H. Catherine, W. Skinner, Eugene E. Foord, Brian Mason, Abraham Rosenzweig (1997), Dana's New Mineralogy : The System of Mineralogy of James Dwight Dana and Edward Salisbury Dana: 30.

Best Localities for Sulphur

Best of Species:Sulphur

Internet Links for Sulphur

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    Localities for Sulphur

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