This element occurs in the animal kingdom as a constituent of the albuminous (protein) tissues, of bile, of cystin, etc., and in the vegetable kingdom in many essential oils and resins, such as those of mustard, horseradish, garlic, and asafoetida. In volcanic districts it is found native, and in many places it is met with combined with metals, as sulphide, or "pyrites"; the bisulphide of iron contains more than half its weight of sulphur. United with hydrogen or with alkalies, it is found in many organic substances and mineral waters, and with oxygen it forms sulphuric acid and the various sulphates.

Characters And Tests

Sulphur occurs in commerce either as a gritty powder, or in round sticks (roll sulphur - brimstone), or in crystals; it is opaque and brittle, pale yellow in color, of insipid taste, and emitting a peculiar odor if it be rubbed; it is inflammable, burning with a bluish flame and evolution of sulphurous acid gas. Sulphur melts at 115° F.; at greater heats it becomes amber-colored, then brown, and gradually thickens until the containing vessel may be inverted without spilling it; it is insoluble in water, slightly soluble in alcohol (absolute alcohol dissolves nearly 1 per cent.), partially soluble in fixed and volatile oils and bisulphide of carbon. Hydrochloric acid added to sulphur or its compounds causes evolution of sulphuretted hydrogen, which will be known by its characteristic odor.

Officinal Forms

Two varieties of sulphur are placed in the Pharmacopoeia - the sublimed and the precipitated.