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Sulfur oxide and dioxide


Sulfur oxide, colorless but withacrid and pungent odor, a substance with a high reactivity when placed in contact with water and that is why it must be kept in sight. Sulfur oxides have many other characteristics that we are going to discover, including that of being generically referred to as SOx.

Sulfur oxide and dioxide

The sulfur dioxide it is known because it is one of the most harmful pollutants for the atmosphere and therefore also for us who breathe what circulates in the atmosphere. This dioxide is also called sulfur dioxide, is denoted by SO2 and is colorless.

This gas, however, is usually recognized and noticed by its smell when it exceeds a certain level of concentrations. In this case we are talking about those ranging from 1000 to 3000 µg per cubic meter. If with these levels, there are those who perceive it and those who do not pay attention to it, if we go up to 10,000 µg / m3 and above, the smell is pungent and irritating, impossible not to notice it and not to be bothered by it.

It is not new that the sulfur dioxide is a pollutant to try to protect yourself from, it has been since the mid-twentieth century that extremely high concentrations of SO2 have been recorded, for example in the air of London, as a result of which a significant increase in deaths. We were in the 50s.

Sulfur oxide: formula

A sulfur oxide is usually created during the combustion of sulfur-containing materials. So accesses for sulfur dioxide or sulfur dioxide (SO2), but also for sulfuric anhydride or sulfur trioxide (SO3). Both compounds mentioned, SO2 and SO3, together referred to as SOx, are the main culprits of atmospheric pollution from sulfur oxides. There is a lot of human responsibility, but SO2 can also derive from natural sources such as from volcanic phenomena.

Not only do we find SOx in the atmosphere, with sulfur in them, there are also other compounds such as H2S, H2SO3 and H2SO4 in addition to the different sulphates.

Sulfur oxide: pollution

The reason we talk about sulfur oxide and not other oxides, or not so much, is the fact that SOx have serious consequences on air quality and obviously on our health.

Colorless, irritating, non-flammable, very soluble in water and with a pungent odor, SO2 moreover, being heavier than air, tends to stratify in the lower areas, right where we walk and live, right where we can breathe it "better". To date, it is one of the most widespread air pollutants, it is considered by experts to be one of the most aggressive and dangerous. Being thick emitted from anthropogenic sources it is clear that we are wondering and we must continue to ask how it is possible to decrease its concentration in the atmosphere.

It is necessary to act on combustion processes substances that contain this element because it is in them that it is produced, also as an impurity, or as a fundamental constituent.

SO3 originates from’Oxidation of sulfur dioxide. Also called sulfuric anhydride or sulfur trioxide, it reacts with water, even in the form of steam, rapidly produces sulfuric acid which is then the "culprit" when we see the phenomenon of acid rain.

Sulfur oxide: nomenclature

Even if we are not chemists and we don't want to become one, know a little bit of nomenclature can be used to better understand newspaper articles, tables or information from industry sites such as that of ARPA.

As for the oxides, they are binary compounds between element and oxygen, they can be substances of an ionic or covalent nature. For sulfur we have SO, sulfur oxide, SO ", sulfur dioxide or sulfur dioxide, and then SO3, sulfur trioxide or sulfuric anhydride.

Sulfur oxide in English

If we read articles in English or simply want to talk about pollution in English, it is good to know that sulfur oxide is called "Sulfur oxide".

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Video: Y10 Oxides - Burning Sulphur in Oxygen. (November 2021).