Sulfur (S), also known as sulphur, is a nonmetallic chemical element in the periodic table that has the symbol S and atomic number 16. Sulfur is a tasteless, odorless, brittle solid subject and The appearance of this nonmetal is pale yellow which is very light and soft. It is a poor conductor of electricity and insoluble in water. Sulfur is naturally found in large quantities in combination with other elements such as sulfite (such as pyrite) and sulfate (such as Gypsum) and is found purely near hot springs and volcanic and mining areas. Sulfur is also tied up with coal, oil and natural gas.
Over time, the agricultural industry is realizing more and more about the positive effect of sulfur as a fertilizer nutrient in itself. Usually, plants need about a tenth as much sulfur as nitrogen, but sulfur deficiencies limit plant growth as certainly and severely as nitrogen deficiencies do. Reduced yield is the result of sulfur fertilizer deficiency at any stage of plants’ growth.
Sulfur is one of the most important raw materials for industry, and the mobility in the global sulfur market is largely due to its wide application in this sector. The most widely used sulfur is in the production of sulfuric acid. On average, 85-90% of the world’s sulfur production is used to produce this acid (which is the basis of many industrial processes and widely used in the production of many consumer products).
Sulfur is used as a mild disinfectant, antifungal and antibacterial. It is widely used in the preparation of lotions, creams, and ointments at a concentration of 10%. Most commonly used for the treatment of facial pimples, dandruff, tincture, itching, and fungal infections. A sulfur colloid is used to treat rheumatoid arthritis, which can be injectable or oral.
Sulfur has been investigated for the production of the following products in the field of construction:
Sulfur concrete is a new product that, although its final appearance is similar to that of ordinary concrete, is different in its production, maintenance and use.
This type of concrete has unique properties such as:
- Tensile, compressive and flexural strengths and fatigue life of sulfur concrete are more than conventional concrete.
- Sulfur concrete takes off quickly and reaches 80% to 90% ultimate compressive strength within 2 hours.
- The permeability of sulfur concrete to water is very low.
- Sulfur concrete reaches its maximum strength in the most deformation.
- Increasing the percentage of sulfur and consequently increasing the compressive strength of sulfur concrete is associated with increasing its elasticity coefficient.
- Its resistance to corrosive environments, especially acidic environments, attacks salts, chlorines, and sulfates, is very significant, which has the potential to be useful in covering the floor with or in contact with corrosive materials. It significantly enhances the structure of electrolyte tubes in acidic ponds, making acid reservoirs and general floors in acidic and corrosive environments.
- Recyclability of this type of concrete is one of its interesting and remarkable properties. This means that the concrete can be melted at any time, separated by sulfur and aggregates and reused in the concrete.
Due to the significant increase in fuel prices, which increases the price of cement and consequently increases the cost of making concrete with cement. The cost of making sulfur concrete is competitive compared to conventional concrete.
As the majority of warm asphalt used all around the world is asphalt concrete type, application of sulfur in asphalt concrete has gained more attention, in a way that most of the implemented sulfur asphalts in different countries are the sulfur extended asphalt concrete type, as a results, most of the reports are on the effect of sulfur addition on the performance characteristics of asphalt concrete. The following results have been obtained from the previous researches:
• Enhancement of some of mechanical properties such as increase in Marshal stability, increase of hardness, increase of resistance against rutting and decrease of transverse cracks in sulfur modified asphalt
• Increase in durability of sulfur asphalt in comparison with ordinary asphalt concrete
• Ease of application and improvement of workability after the addition of sulfur to asphalt
• Decrease of energy costs in asphalt production by reduction of mixing temperature
• Higher resistance against petrol solvents
Sulfur spray coatings have many different uses including surface-bond construction techniques, mine wall sealing and support, and sulfur coatings for land stabilization and dust prevention. Other uses are in containment reservoirs and ponds and as corrosion-resistant coatings used to protect vats, tanks, sumps, silos, storage pads, foundations, pilings, equipment bases, floors, and walls. In general, sulfur coatings are used mostly in chemical, metallurgical, and food processing plants where commonly used materials are subject to corrosion.
World sulfur production
The largest increases in sulfur production during the next 5 years are expected to take place in India, Kuwait, and Saudi Arabia. New sulfur demand associated with phosphate fertilizer projects is expected in Brazil, China, Egypt, India, and Turkey.
In the past few years, sulfur prices have been variable, a result of the volatility of the demand for sulfur. Iran has the 11th place in the world sulfur production by producing 2,200,000 MT of sulfur.
The top exporters of Sulfur are Canada, the United States, India, Singapore, and the United Arab Emirates. The top importers are South Africa, China, Cuba, Indonesia, and Australia. it is critical to note that our company “Kala Sepid Tarabar” as an international transportation & trading company has experienced and professional staff members in all matters related to any shipment (road, rail, sea-air and multi-modal freight) and trading, so has always been able to serve the interests of its customers to supply, purchase and export cargoes to all over the world as fast as possible as a strong advisor by choosing the best route and method of transport.