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Sulphur and its Compounds



The name sulphur is derived from the sanskrit word salvert through the Latin sulphurium.
Its elementary nature was established by Lavoisier in 1777.
Occurrence :
It is found in the free as well as combined state. In the combined state it occurs as sulphides
and sulphates.
i) Galena, PbS ii) Zinc blende, ZnS iii) Iron pyrites, FeS2
iv) Copper pyrites, CuFeS2 v) Gypsum, CaSO4.2H2O vi) Barytes, BaSO4
vii) Epsom salt, MgSO4.7H2O
Organic compounds such as egg, proteins, garlic, onion, mustard, hair and wool contain
Extraction of sulphur:
The two principle sources of sulphur in world are the deposits in Sicily and Louisiana. Each
source has a characteristic method of extraction called as a Sicilian and Louisiana
(Frasch) process respectively.
1) The Sicilian Process
In Sicily sulphur mixed with clay, limestone and other rock impurities occurs on the surface
and contains about 12.25% sulphur. It is piled in specially designed kilns called Calcroni
built on sloping hill side. The kiln is lighted at the top when some of the sulphur burns and
heat produced melts the remaining sulphur. The molten sulphur flows down the slope and
is collected into wooden moulds.
The sulphur obtained contains about 5% of impurities. It is used as such or purified by
2) Frasch Process
The Frasch process uses a series of concentric pipes. Holes are drilled and pipes sunk
into to the deposits of sulphur. Super heated water under pressure at 180 0C is pumped
down through the outermost pipe to melt the underground sulphur. Compressed hot air
(35 atmospheres) is introduced through the innermost pipe and forced down to the
depsoits. Sulphur melts at the temperature of the super heated water. Molten sulphur,
water and air mix to form foam. The low density foam is forced to the surface through the
middle pipe because of high pressure created on the molten sulphur by compressed air.
The sulphur thus obtained is about 99.5% pure.
i) Ordinary sulphur is a pale yellow, brittle, crystalline solid, insoluble in water but soluble in
CS2, benzene and turpentine. It has a marked taste and faint odour. Although it is not
harmful for human beings, it is poisonous to lower organism. It is poor conductor of heat
and a bad conductor of electricity, hence it is an excellent insulator.
ii) It exhibits allotropy and exists in several allotropic forms. Different allotropic forms of
sulphur have different physical properties.


Sulphur and its Compounds
ALLOTROPY: The existence of elements in two or more different forms (allotropes).
In some cases, the allotropes are stable over a temperature range, with a definite transition
point at which one changes into the other. This form of allotropy is called enantiotropy
1. Rhombic, octahedral or - sulphur (m.p.112.80C).
It is most stable form of sulphur. All other varieties change into this form on standing. It is
prepared by evaporation a solution of sulphur in carbon disulphide. It is soluble in CS 2
and changes into sulphur when heated above 95.50C.
2. Monoclinic, prismatic or Sulphur (m.p.119.20C).
It is prepared by melting rhombic sulphur in a dish followed by cooling till crust is formed.
This form of sulphur exists between 95.60C and 1190C. Rhombic and monoclinic forms
can be interchanged by altering the temperature, Rhombic or sulphur is stable below
95.60C and changes into monoclinic or sulphur above 95.60C, thus 95.60 is the
transition temperature at which the two forms exist in equilibrium; and the two sulphurs
are called as enantiotropic substances.
- Sulphur - Sulphur
9 5 .6 0C

It is soluble in CS2, and sulphur are crystalline varieties (rest being amorphous)
and exist as S8 cyclic molecules.
3. Plastic or Sulphur (no sharp m.p.).
It is obtained by sudden cooling (quenching)by pouring boiling sulphur in a thin stream to
cold water. It is dark in colour and insoluble in CS 2. Plastic sulphur may be considered as
a super cooled liquid, i.e., a liquid which due to rapid cooling below its melting point had
no time to settle in a crystalline form. This form of sulphur contains long open coiled
chains of sulphur.
4. Milk of sulphur.
It is obtained by boiling milk of lime with sulphur and decomposing the products formed
with HCl.
3Ca(OH)2 12S 2CaS5 CaS 2O3 3H2O
Milk of lim e Cal. Cal.
Pentasulphide thiosulphate

2CaS5 + CaS2O3 + 6HCl 3CaCl2 + 3H2O + 12S


Milk of sulphur is soluble in CS2 and is mainly used in medicine.

5. Colloidal or Sulphur.
It is prepared by passing H2S through a solution of nitric acid or potassium permanganate.
2HNO3 + H2S 2NO2 + 2H2O + S
On heating or long standing, colloidal sulphur changes into the ordinary form.
i) Burning: It burns in air forming mainly sulphur dioxide and a little sulphur trioxide also
S + O2 SO2 ; 2SO2 + O2 2SO3 (Traces only)
ii) Combination with elements: Elements like C, H, Cl, Fe, Hg, Zn, Cu forming CS 2, H2S,
S2Cl2 (sulphur monochloride), FeS, HgS, ZnS and CuS respectively.
iii) Reducing property: It is oxidized by hot conc. H2SO4 and HNO3.
S + 2H2SO4 2H2O + 3SO2
S + 6HNO3 H2SO4 + 6NO2 + 2H2O
Sulphur and its Compounds
iv)Reaction with alkalies : Sulphur dissolves in alkalis on heating to give sulphides &
4S + 6NaOH 2NaS + Na2S2O3 + 3H2O
Na2S + 4S(excess) Na2S5 (Sodium pentasulphide)
i) In the manufacture of SO2, H2SO4, CS2, gun powder (a mixture of sulphur, charcoal and
KNO3), etc.
ii) In match industry and fire works.
iii) In vulcanization of rubber.
Note: Vulcanization is a process for hardening rubber by heating it with sulphur or sulphur
iv) As a disinfectant for houses.
v) In skin medicines.
vi) In the manufacture of sulphur dyes.

i) By passing hydrogen gas through boiling sulphur or over heated antimony sulphide
H2 + S H2S
Sb2S3 + 3H2 2Sb + 3H2S
ii) By the action of dil. HCl or H2SO4 on iron pyrites in Kipps apparatus (Lab. Method).
FeS + H2SO4 FeSO4 + H2S
Hydrogen sulphide can be purified (if required) by passing it through MgO suspension in water.
MgO + 2H S 6 0 C Mg(HS)2 H2O
M g
Magnesium hydrosulphide

It can be dried by passing through CaCl2 or P2O5 but not with conc.H2SO4 because the latter
reacts with H2S.
H2S + H2SO4 SO2 + S + 2H2O
iii) In the pure state, hydrogen sulphide is obtained by heating pure antimony sulphide with
pure conc. HCl.

A) Physical
i) It is a colourless, poisonous gas, soluble in water. It has a characteristic smell of rotten
ii) It is slightly heavier than air.
iii) It can be easily condense to a liquid and solidified to a snowy mass.

Sulphur and its Compounds
B) Chemical
i) Decomposition:
310 7700 C
H2S H2 + S
ii) Combustion: It burns with a blue flame
2H2S + 3O2 (excess) 2H2O + 2SO2
2H2S + O2 (limited) 2H2O + 2S
iii) Reducing property: On account of its decomposition to hydrogen, it acts as a reducing
a) H2S + Cl2 2HCl + S
b) H2S + H2SO4 SO2 + 2H2O + S
c) H2S + 2HNO3 2NO2 + 2H2O + S
d) 2H2S + SO2 2H2O + 3S
e) H2S + 2FeCl3 2FeCl2 + 2HCl + S
f) 2KMnO4 + 3H2SO4 + 5H2S K2SO4 + 2MnSO4 + 8H2O + 5S
g) K2Cr2O7 + 4H2SO4 + 3H2S K2SO4 + Cr2(SO4)3 + 7H2O + 3S
iv) Properties of aqueous solution: Aqueous solution of H2S contains H+ ions and S2- ions.
H2S(aq.) HS S2
H+ +
Hydrogen sulphide
H+ +
Hydrosulphide ion Sulphide ion

Thus, the reactions of aqueous solution of hydrogen sulphide are due to hydrogen ions as
well as sulphide ions.
Reactions due to hydrogen ions:
(a) with alkalies, it forms two series of salts, namely hydrosulphides and sulphides. For
NaOH + H2S NaSH + H2O

2NaOH + H2S Sod.sulphide

Na2 S + 2H O

(b) Hydrogen sulphide reacts almost with all metals (except Hg, Au and Pt) and evolves
hydrogen gas.
2Ag + H2S Ag2S + H2
Reactions due to sulphide ions:
Hydrogen sulphide reacts with salt solutions of certain metals precipitating corresponding
sulphides. This constitutes an important step in inorganic qualitative analysis.
Pb(NO3 ) H2S
medium (block )

CaSO4 H2 S CuS H2 SO 4
medium (block )

ZnS H2SO 4
medium (white)

1. It is used as a laboratory reagent in qualitative analysis because of its above property of
precipitation of a number of sulphides with characteristic colours from metal salts .
2. It is used as a reducing agent.

Sulphur and its Compounds
Note: Qualitative analysis involves determining the nature of a pure unknown compound or the
compounds present in the mixture. Various chemical tests exist for different elements or radicals
present in the compounds.
It may be recognised by
i) Its offensive rotten egg smell.
ii) Its ability to darken lead acetate paper.
Sulphur forms two oxides, Sulphur dioxide (SO 2) and sulphur trioxide (SO 3). Both are acidic
oxides give H2SO3 (Sulpurous acid) and H 2SO4 (Sulphuric acid) respectively when dissolved in
water. Oxides of sulphur, mainly SO 2, are liberated when coal and sulphur-containing fuel oils
burnt. SO2 hinders the movement of air in and out of lungs with a resultant fit of coughing. In
presence of air, SO2 is oxidized to SO3, another irritant.
2SO + O2 2SO
(Air )

in the presence of moisture, SO3 is converted to highly corrosive sulphuric acid. It comes along
with rain water
2 4

Called acid rain. It is injurious to human beings, the acid also attacks marble, limestone,
vegetation, electrical contacts, paper and textiles.

i) By heating copper turnings with conc. H2SO4 (Lab. method).
Cu + 2H2SO4(conc.) Heat
CuSO4 + SO2 + 2H2O
ii) By the reduction of H2SO4 with carbon or sulphur.
C + 2H2SO4 CO2 + 2SO2 + 2H2O
S + 2H2SO4 3SO2 + 2H2O
Industrial methods
iii) By burning sulphur in air.
S + O2 SO2
iv) By roasting zinc blende or iron pyrites.
2ZnS + 3O2 2ZnO + 2SO2
4F2S2 + 11O2 2Fe2O3 + 8SO2
Roasting : The strong heating of a finely ground ore in air.

A) Physical
It is a colourless, poisonous gas (b.p. 10 0C), soluble in water. It has a pungent and suffocating
odour. It is heavier than air. It can be liquefied even at atmospheric pressure
at 100C. Liquid SO2 is colourless liquid and used as non-aqueous solvent. It freezes
at 72.70C to snow-like mass.

Sulphur and its Compounds
B) Chemical
i) Decomposition: 3SO2
2SO3 + S
ii) Combustion: It is neither combustible nor a supporter of combustion but strongly burning
K, Mg and C continues to burn in it. It is because SO 2 decomposes into S and O 2 by
means of heat of burning metal.
SO2 + 2Mg 2MgO + S ; SO2 + C CO2 + S
iii) Acidic nature: It dissolves in H2O forming sulphurous acid, hence the gas is known as
sulphurous acid anhydride. Thus, SO2 is an acidic oxide. It is absorbed by bases and
combines with basic oxides forming salts.
2NaOH + 2SO2 2NaHSO3
2NaOH + SO2 Na2SO3 + H2O
iv) Sulphur dioxide as reducing agent: SO2 reacts with moisture and liberate nascent
hydrogen. The nascent hydrogen acts as a powerful reducing agent.
a) SO2 + Cl2 + 2H2O H2SO4 + 2HCl
b) SO2 + 2HNO3 H2SO4 + 2NO2
c) SO2 + 2FeCl3 + 2H2O H2SO4 + 2HCl + 2FeCl2
d) 5SO2 + 2KMnO4 + 2H2O K2SO4 + 2MnSO4 + 2H2SO4
e) 3SO2 + K2Cr2O7 + H2SO4 K2SO4 + Cr2(SO4)3 + H2O
v) Oxidising Property:
a) 2H2S + SO2 2H2O + 3S
b) 4Na + 3SO2 Na2SO3 + Na2S2O3
c) 3Fe + SO2 2FeO + FeS
Similarly, K and Mg are also oxidized at high temperatures.
d) 2CO + SO2 2CO2+ S
vi) Combination with O2, Cl2, PbO2 and BaO2.
2SO2 + O2 Pt
2SO3 ;
SO2 + PbO2 PbSO4
SO2 Cl2 Sunlight
SO 2Cl2 ; SO2 + BaO2 BaSO4
or camphor Sulphuryl chloride

vii) Bleaching property: Sulphur dioxide acts as bleaching agent in the following two ways.
In the presence of water, it is oxidized with the liberation of nascent hydrogen which
reduces the colouring matter to colourless.
SO2 + 2H2O H2SO4 + 2[H]
Colouring matter + 2[H] a ir Colourless compound
Since colourless(reduced) compound is reoxidised by air to coloured compound,
bleaching by SO2 is temporary.
Difference from bleaching action of chlorine.
a) Bleaching action of chlorine is an oxidation process
Cl2 + H2O 2HCl + [O]
Colouring matter + [O] Colourless compound
b) Since it is not reversible, bleaching is permanent.
c) In case of SO2 bleaching, H2SO4 is produced which is harmful to fibres.


Sulphur and its Compounds
i) It is a colourless gas with characteristic pungent smell of burning sulphur.
ii) It turns potassium dichromate paper green.
i) Sulphur dioxide is used as a bleaching agent.
ii) It is used as an antichlor for removing excess of chlorine from a fabric after bleaching.
iii) It is used in the preparation of H2SO4 and bisulphites.
iv) Liquid SO2 is used as a solvent for many organic and inorganic compounds.
v) It is used in refining petroleum and sugar.
vi) It is used as a disinfectant for killing disease germs and house hold fumigation.
Sulphuric acid is commercially the most important acid and is manufactured by two process
namely chamber process and contact process. Each of the two process is suited to certain
concentration and purity of the product. Thus while the chamber process produces sulphuric
acid of about 98% strength, the sulphuric acid produced by contact process is 100% pure.
The lead chamber process involves oxidation of sulphur dioxide by atmospheric oxygen in the
presence of oxides of nitrogen as catalyst. On the other hand, the contact process involves the
oxidation of sulphur dioxide by air at low temperature (optimum temperature is 400 450 0C),
high pressure (about 1.6 to 1.7 atm), excess of oxygen and presence of a catalyst (platinum,
ferric oxide or vanadium pentoxide) to give sulphur trioxide which when dissolved in 98%
sulphuric acid gives oleum (H2S2O7) which on dilution gives sulphuric acid.
2SO2 + O2 2SO3
SO3 + H2SO4 H2S2O7 (oleum)
H2S2O7 + H2O 2H2SO4
In the contact process, some sulphuric acid is added from outside so as to trap the SO 3 formed
in the form of oleum acid which on dilution produces sulphuric acid. If SO 3 is trapped directly
with water it violently reacts with water to form a thick chemical mist of H 2SO4 which could not be
condensed easily.

S + 6HNO3
H2SO4 + 6NO2 + 2H2O
A) Physical.
i) Sulphuric acid is a colourless, heavy viscous oily liquid. Its high boiling point and
viscous nature is due to hydrogen bonding due to which a number of simple
molecules bind together to form a cluster.
ii) Conc. H2SO4 has a strong affinity for water and a large amount of heat is produced
on mixing the acid with water. The temperature may rise as high as 120 0C, hence
the acid is always diluted by adding the acid to water (and not by adding water
to acid) slowly with constant stirring. The evolution of heat is due to the formation of
hydrates such as H2SO4. H2O, H2SO4.2H2O and H2SO4. 4H2O.

Sulphur and its Compounds

B) Chemical.
i) Acidic properties: It is a strong dibasic acid and hence forms two series of salts :
bisulphates (HSO4-) and sulphates (SO42-).
H2SO4 H+ + HSO4- ; HSO4- H+ + SO42-
ii) Dehydrating property: Concentrated H2SO4 is powerful dehydrating agent. It
remove water from many substances. Its corrosive action on skin is also due to
dehydration of skin which then burns and produces itching sensation.
H2 SO4

CO H2 O H10 O5 )
b) (C6Starch
H2 SO4

6C 5H2O
Formic acid black

12H22 O11
H2 SO4
c) C6H12O6
6C 6H2O
H2 SO 4
d) CCane 12C 11H2O
Glucos e sugar

iii) Reaction with Salts:

a) KCl + H2SO4 KHSO4 + HCl
b) KNO3 + H2SO4 KHSO4 + HNO3
c) FeS + H2SO4 FeSO4 + H2S
d) Ca3(PO4)2 + 3H2SO4 3CaSO4 + 2H3PO4
e) (COO)2Ca + H2SO4 CaSO4 + (COOH)2
iv) Oxidising property: Since conc. H2SO4 gives oxygen on strong heating, hot conc.
H2SO4 acts as an oxidizing agent.
H2SO4 SO2 + H2O + (O)
a) Oxidation of non-metals:
C + 2H2SO4 CO2 + 2SO2 + 2H2O
S + 2H2SO4 3SO2 + 2H2O
2P + 5H2SO4 P2O5 + 5SO2 + 5H2O
P2O5 + 3H2O 2H3PO4

b) Oxidation of metals.
Zn + 2H2SO4 ZnSO4 + 2H2O + SO2
Or 4Zn + 5H2SO4 4ZnSO4 + 4H2O + H2S
c) Cu + 2H2SO4 CuSO4 + SO2 + 2H2O
d) Oxidation of compounds:
2HX + H2SO4 heat
X2 + SO2 + 2H2O (where X = Br or I)
2FeSO4 + 2H2SO4 heat
Fe2(SO4)3 + SO2 + 2H2O
6HI + H2SO4 4H2O + S + 3I2
8HI + H2SO4 4H2O + H2S + 4I2
v) Action of dilute sulphuric acid on metals: Metals above hydrogen in the
electrochemical series react with dil. H 2SO4 with the evolution of hydrogen, e.g., Mg,
Zn and Fe.
Fe + H2SO4 FeSO4 + H2
Metals like Hg, Cu, Pb, Bi and noble metals are not attacked by dilute sulphuric
Sulphur and its Compounds
USES: It is regarded as king of chemicals. It is used
i) In the manufacture of dyes, fertilizers (ammonium sulphate and superphosphate),
detergents, explosives (T.N.T., nitroglycerine, gun cotton), etc.
ii) In the preparation of other important chemicals like HCl, HNO 3, H3PO4, Na2CO3,
sulphates, alums, ether, etc.
iii) In lead storage batteries which involve following reaction.
PbO2 + Pb + 2H2SO4 2PbSO4 + 2H2O
iv) As a laboratory reagent, dehydrating and oxidizing agent.
v) In refining petroleum.
vi) As a pickling agent. Pickling is an industrial process for removing layers of basic
oxides from metals like Fe and Cu before electroplating, galvanizing and soldering.
vii) H2SO4 is used as laboratory reagent for the detection of many number of acid
radicals or ions. By adding dilute H 2SO4 to a given chemical substances and on
gentle warming following characteristic changes takes place for the different radicals
or ions.
Carbonate or CO3 :
i) Brisk effervescences of colourless gas CO2; may be carbonate.
CaCO3 + H2SO4 CaSO4 + H2O + CO2
ii) The gas turns lime water milky.
CO2 + Ca(OH)2 Milky
+ H2O
iii) Excess of passage of gas through lime water disappears milkyness.
CaCO3 + CO2 + H2O Ca(HCO3)2 (Soluble)
Sulphite or SO3 :
i) Colourless gas with suffocating odour of burning sulphur; may be sulphite
CaSO3 + H2SO4 CaSO4 + H2O + SO2
ii) The gas turns moist acidified K2Cr2O7 paper into green
Cr (SO )
K2Cr2O7 + H2SO4 + 3SO2 K2SO4 + 2Green 4 + H2O
Sulphide or S2-:
i) Colourless gas with rotten egg smell, may be sulphide
CaS + H2SO4 CaSO4 + H2S
Acetate or CH3COO-:
i) Smell of vinegar comes out, may be acetate.
3 2 2 4
Vinegar smell

Nitrite or NO :

i) Reddish, brown vapours of NO2 comes out, may be nitrite.

2KNO2 + H2SO4 K2SO4 + 2HNO2
3HNO2 HNO3 + 2NO + H2
2NO + O2 2NO2

Sulphur and its Compounds
Chloride or Cl-:
i) Colourless fuming gas (HCl) with pungent smell; may be chloride.
2NaCl + H2SO4 Na2SO4 + 2HCl
Bromide or Br :
i) Brown vapours come out; may be bromide or nitrate.
2NaBr + H2SO4 Na2SO4 + 2HBr
2HBr + H2SO4 Br2 + 2H2O + SO2
Iodide or I :
i) Dark violet fumes (I2) come out; may be iodide.
2NaI + H2SO4 Na2SO4 + 2HI
2HI + H2SO4 I2 + 2H2O + SO2

Nitrate or NO3 :
i) Brown fumes come out; may be nitrate.
NaNO3 + H2SO4 NaHSO4 + HNO3
4HNO3 2H2O + O2 + 4NO2
ii) Ring Test: An aqueous solution of salt (all nitrates are water soluble) is mixed with
freshly prepared FeSO4 and concentrated H2SO4 is poured in test from sides, brown
ring is developed at the junction of two solutions.
NaNO3 + H2SO4 NaHSO4 + HNO3
6FeSO4 + 2HNO3 + 3H2SO4 3Fe2(SO4)3 + 2NO + 4H2O
FeSO4 + NO Fe(NO)SO 4
Brown ring

1. Generally on heating liquids usually become more mobile, but sulphur behaviour is
unusual. On heating rhombic sulphur above its melting point the colour of the liquid
darkens until it is nearly black and it becomes viscous. On further heating the viscosity
decreases at its boiling point and the liquid again becomes mobile. Explain.
Ans: As sulphur melts, the S8 rings begin to open and sulphur chains begin to form and
reach their maximum chain length corresponding to the maximum viscosity of liquid sulphur. The
decrease in viscosity of liquid sulphur that occurs on further heating is due to the breakdown of
these long chains and the reformation of S8 rings. Sulphur vapour contains S8 rings, together
with smaller fragments such as S6, S4 and S2. At very high temperature atomic sulphur is formed.
2. Conc H2SO4 gives HCl from NaCl representing,
NaCl + H2SO4 NaHSO4 + HCl
but similar method is not suitable for the preparation of HBr from NaBr. Explain.
Ans: HBr produced by the action of conc.H2SO4 on NaBr, reduces conc. H2SO4 to SO2, i.e.,
NaBr + H2SO4 NaHSO4 + HBr
2HBr + H2SO4 2H2O + Br2 + SO2

Sulphur and its Compounds
3. While doing qualitative analysis of a given white solid (X), the following changes are
A colourless gas (Y) with brisk effervescence is released when X reacts with dilute H 2SO4.
The gas (Y) turns lime water milky due to formation of insoluble compound (X) in the
bottom part of the test tube (precipitate). On passing excess of (Y) milky ness of lime
water disappears due to formation of soluble compound (Z). Identify (X) (Y) and (Z). Write
the equations of the reactions involved. [Molecular weight of X is 100]
i) Brisk effervescences of colourless gas CO2; may be carbonate.
CaCO3 + H2SO4 CaSO4 + H2O + CO2
ii) The gas turns lime water milky.
CO2 + Ca(OH)2 Milky
+ H2O

iii) Excess of passage of gas through lime water disappears milkyness.

CaCO3 + CO2 + H2O Ca(HCO3)2 (Soluble)

4. State whether the following statements are TRUE or FALSE and correct the FALSE
i) H2SO4 is an aqueous solution of SO2
ii) Sulphur atom can form six covalent bonds
iii) H2S and SO2 are gases collected by downward displacement of air
iv) Copper reacts with conc. H2SO4 to giveH2
v) SO2 gas may be absorbed in KOH
i) FALSE - H2SO4 is an aqueous solution of SO3
ii) TRUE
iii) FALSE - H2S & SO2 are heavier than air they are collected by upward displacement of air
iv) FALSE - Copper does not give H2 with conc. H2SO4. It gives SO2, CuSO4 & H2O
Cu + 2H2SO4 CuSO4 + 2H2O + SO2
v) TRUE [SO2 is acidic oxide]

5. K2Cr2O7 is used as oxidizing agent in H2SO4 medium. Can we use HCl as acidic medium.
Ans: No, HCl react with K2Cr2O7 liberates Cl2 gas and so formed Cl2 also acts as oxidising agent.
K2Cr2O7 + HCl CrCl3 + Cl2 + H2O
6. Aluminium sulphide gives a foul odour when it becomes damp. Write a balanced
chemical equation for the reaction.
Ans: It is due to formation of H2S
Al2S3 + 6H2O 2AI(OH)3 + 3H2S
Sulphur and its Compounds
Objective type questions (some questions may have more than one answer)
1. SO2 is incombustible and non-supporter of combustion but strongly burning Mg continues to
burn in the jar of SO2. This is because
a) Mg has great affinity for SO2
b) Mg has low ignition point
c) Mg has high energy
d) Heat of reaction is enough to dissociate SO2 into S and free oxygen.
2. Sulphuric acid has great affinity for water because
a) It hydrolyses the acid
b) It decomposes the acid
c) Acid forms hydrates with water
d) Acid decomposes water
3. The most stable form of sulphur is
a) Rhombic sulphur b) Monoclinic sulphur
c) Plastic sulphur d) Amorphous sulphur
4. The anhydride of H2SO4 is
a) SO2 b) SO3
c) S2O5 d) S2O3
5. The form of sulphur stable at room temperature is
a) Six atom ring b) Eight atom ring
c) Diatomic molecule d) Tetra atomic molecule
6. The ratio of number of molecules in equal weights of SO 2 and SO3 gases is
a) 1:2 b) 4:5
c) 1: 1 d) 5:4
7. Volume occupied by 8.5 g of H2S at S.T.P is
a) 22.4 L b) 11.2 L
c) 5.6 L d) 2.8 L
8. A gas that cannot be collected over water is :
a) N2 b) O2
c) SO2 d) PH3
9. Sulphur is readily soluble in
a) Alcohol b) Carbon disulphide
c) Ether d) Water
10. Copper turnings when heated with concentrated sulphuric acid will give
a) SO2 b) SO3
c) H2S d) O2
11. Bleaching action of SO2 is due to
a) Reduction b) Oxidation
c) Hydrolysis d) Its acidic nature

Sulphur and its Compounds
12. Sulphur dioxide acts as a/an
a) Bleaching agent b) Oxidising agent
c) Reducing agent d) Disinfectant
13. Concentrated sulphuric acid is
a) Efflorescent b) Hygroscopic
c) Oxidising agent d) Sulphonating agent
14. When Conc.H2SO4 comes in contact with sugar, it becomes black due to
a) Hydrolysis b) Hydration
c) Decolourisation d) Dehydration
15. Which one is known as oleum ?
a) H2SO3 b) H2SO5
c) H2S2O8 d) H2S2O7
16. Which of the following gas in atmosphere may cause acid rains
a) CO b) SO2
c) He d) CO2

1. Why is it dangerous to add water to a concentrated acid such as sulphuric acid in a dilution
process ?
2. Bleaching of flowers by moist SO2 is temporary. Explain.
3. Moist SO2 bleaches colouring matter. Explain.
4. Hydrogen iodide cannot be prepared by the action of conc. H 2SO4 on KI. Explain.
5. Sugar turns black on addition of strong sulphuric acid. Explain
6. The wooden shelf under the reagent bottle containing concentrated H 2SO4 blackens after some
time. Explain
7. KMnO4 should not be dissolved in conc. H2SO4. Explain
8. Explain, giving relevant equations, what happens when:
i) Sulphur is boiled with caustic soda solution
ii) Sulphur dioxide is passed through acidified potassium dichromate solution.
iii) Hydrogen sulphide is bubbled through an aqueous solution of sulphur dioxide.
iv) Hydrogen sulphide is passed in acidified solution of ferric chloride.
9. SO2 can function both as a reducing or oxidizing agent. Explain this with the help of suitable
10. How is sulphurous acid formed ?
11. How do you test for Hydrogen sulphide gas ?
12. Define allotropy. Name the three main allotropes of sulphur.
13. A mixture of iron filings and sulphur was heated. The black solid residue M which was formed,
reacts with dilute sulphuric acid to give a foul smelling gas N. N when ignited burned with a
blue flame and deposited a yellow solid O. On passing excess of N into a lead (II) nitrate
solution, it gives a black precipitate P and a colourless solution Q. Name the substances M, N,
O, P and Q and write an equation for each.

Sulphur and its Compounds
14. Transition of sulphur to sulphur by action of heat is turned a physical change. Explain
15. What happens when SO2 gas, water vapour and air are passed over heated sodium chloride ?
16. Concentrated H2SO4 cannot be used for drying H2, why ?
17. In the manufacture of H2SO4 by the contact process, SO3 is not directly dissolved in water, why?
18. Dry SO2 does not bleach dry flowers, why ?
19. A white turbidity to obtained by passing H2S in aqueous solution of SO2. Explain.
20. H2SO4 is used as pickling agent, why ?
21. When blue crystals of copper sullphate are added to concentrated H 2SO4 turn white, why ?
22. Burning Mg continues to burn in nitric oxide (NO) while burning sulphur is extinguished, why ?
23. H2S is better reducing agent than water, explain.
24. Answer the following
i) Name the element whose atomicity is 8.
ii) Give an example of a compound where sulphur shows
a) Valency 2 b) Vanecy 4
25. Why pink colour of acidified potassium permanganate disappears when it is poured in a jar
containing hydrogen sulphide and write chemical equation.
26. Rhombic and monoclinic sulphurs are enantiotropes. Explain
27. Write any two reactions in which H2S acts as reducing agent.
28. Why filter paper dipped in Lead acetate turns black when it is exposed to H 2S ?
29. Write the chemical reactions associated with the brown ring.
30. What is the volume of hydrogen at STP when 8.5 g of H 2S decomposed at high temperature?

1. d 2. c 3. a 4. b 5. b 6. d 7. c

8. c 9. b 10. a 11. a 12. a, b, c, d 13. b, c, d

14. d 15. d 16. b

1. Water must not be added to the concentrated acids as it will be suddenly converted into steam,
causing an explosion.
4. It is because HI so produced (KI + H2SO4) reduces H2SO4 not only to SO2 but also to H2S, i.e.,
2HI + H2SO4 2H2O + I2 + SO2 8HI + H2SO4 4H2O + 4I2 + H2S
6. Conc. H2SO4, being a strong dehydrating agent, when trickles down on the bench removes
water from wood (cellulosic material) leaving behind black carbon.
7. With conc. H2SO4, KMnO4 forms explosive covalent compound Mn 2O7 while with dil. H2SO4 it
gives nascent oxygen.
2KMnO4 + H2SO4 (conc.) K2SO4 + Mn2O7 + H2O.

10. Sulphur dioxide combines with water to form sulphurous acid.

Sulphur and its Compounds
SO2 + H2O H2SO3
This is why SO2 turns moist blue litmus to red, and neutralizes alkalis to form salts.
13. Fe + S FeS (M)

FeS + dil.H2SO4 H(N)

2 S + FeSO4

2H2S + O2 2S
(O) + 2H2O

H2S + Pb(NO3)2 PbS


15. 2SO2 + O2 + 2H2O 2H2SO4

2NaCl + H2SO4 Na2SO4 + 2HCl
16. Hydration energy ignites H2.
17. SO3 reacts with water to form H 2SO4 which is not easily condensed and escapes in the
18. In the presence of moisture only it releases nascent hydrogen.
19. Aqueous solution of SO2 and H2S to produce colloidal sulphur as white turbidity.
20. Pickling is an industrial process for removing layers of basic oxides from metals like Fe and Cu
before electroplating, galvanizing and soldering. H 2SO4 being acid dissolves all the basic oxides
from the surfaces.
21. H2SO4 dehydrating agent.
22. The reaction between Mg and O2 is highly exothermic. The heat liberated decompose NO into
N2 and O2 while the heat evolved during burning of sulphur is not sufficient to break NO.
23. H S bond is weaker than H O bond thus H2O is more stable thermally than H2S.
24. i) Sulphur ii) a) H2S b) SO2
30. 5.6 L

1. Define allotropy. Name the allotropes of sulphur?

2. Preparation of H 2 SO4 in contact process? With suitable equation?
3. Acidic properties of H 2 SO4 ?
4. Bleaching property of sulphur dioxide ( SO2 ) explain?

5. Sulphur dioxide act as reducing agent explain? With suitable equation?

6. Preparation of H 2 S in lab method? With suitable equation?
7. Reactions due to sulphide ions in the presence of H2S ?
8. Physical properties of H 2 S gas?
9. H 2 S Gas smell ------------------
10. SO2 Smell is -------------------
11. SO2 And SO3 --------------- oxides

12. --------------------------- is the most stable form of sulphur.

Sulphur and its Compounds
13. Sulphur is readily soluable in -------------------
14. What is melting point of - sulphur -----------------------------
15. What is the melting point - sulphur ----------------------
16. -Sulphur 95 C

17. Plastic sulphur another name of --------------------------

18. Rhombic, octahedral another name of -----------------------

19. What is the formula of oleum --------------------------

20. SO2 H 2O ---------------------
21. SO3 H 2O ----------------
22. H 2 S2O7 H 2O ----------------
23. H 2 S Act as a -------------------------- agent
24. A solution of H 2 S in water turns ------------------------- litmus paper to ---------------------------
25. pb ( NO3 ) 2 H 2 S
------------------- + -----------------------------