Sulfur (S) – Periodic Table (Element Information & More)

Sulfur (S) element Periodic table

This is a SUPER easy guide on Sulfur element.

In fact, the table mentioned below is the perfect information box (Which gives you every single detail about the Sulfur element in Periodic table.)

So if you want to know anything about Sulfur element, then this guide is for you.

Let’s finish this very quickly.

Sulfur Element (S) Information

Appearance of Sulfur appearance of sulfur
Lemon yellow colored
State of Sulfur at STPSolid
Position of Sulfur in Periodic tableSulfur in periodic table (Position)
Group: 16, Period: 3, Block: p
Category of Sulfur elementSulfur element category
Chalcogens
Atomic number of Sulfur, or 
Protons in Sulfur
16
Neutrons in Sulfur16
Electrons in Sulfur16
Symbol of SulfurS
Atomic mass of Sulfur Sulfur (S) atomic mass
32.06 u
Electrons arrangement in Sulfur

or 

Bohr model of Sulfur
Bohr model of sulfur (Electrons arrangement in sulfur, S)
2, 8, 6
Electronic configuration of Sulfur[Ne] 3s2 3p4
Atomic radius of SulfurSulfur (S) atomic radius
180 picometers (van der Waals radius)
Valence electrons in SulfurValence electrons in sulfur (S)
6
1st Ionization energy of Sulfur10.360 eV
Electronegativity of Sulfur Electronegativity of Sulfur (S)
2.58 (Pauling scale)
Crystal structure of Sulfurcrystal structure of sulfur
Orthorhombic
Melting point of Sulfur388.3 K or 115.2 °C or 239.3 °F
Boiling point of Sulfur717.8 K or 444.6 °C or 832.3 °F
Density of Sulfur1.96 g/cm3
Main isotope of Sulfur32S
CAS number7704-34-9

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Sulfur in Periodic table

Sulfur element is in group 16 and period 3 of the Periodic table. Sulfur is the p-block element and it belongs to chalcogens group.

H He
Li Be B C N O F Ne
Na Mg Al Si P S Cl Ar
K Ca Sc Ti V Cr Mn Fe Co Ni Cu Zn Ga Ge As Se Br Kr
Rb Sr Y Zr Nb Mo Tc Ru Rh Pd Ag Cd In Sn Sb Te I Xe
Cs Ba La* Hf Ta W Re Os Ir Pt Au Hg Tl Pb Bi Po At Rn
Fr Ra Ac** Rf Db Sg Bh Hs Mt Ds Rg Cn Nh Fl Mc Lv Ts Og
*Ce Pr Nd Pm Sm Eu Gd Tb Dy Ho Er Tm Yb Lu
**Th Pa U Np Pu Am Cm Bk Cf Es Fm Md No Lr

Why is Sulfur in Group 16?

Why is Sulfur in Group 16

Do you know, how many electrons can be accommodated in the first shell, second shell, third shell, fourth shell, etc…?

Here is the table showing the capacity of orbits to hold electrons. 

Number of electrons in shells.

Orbit / Shell (n)Maximum no. of electrons this orbit can hold
K shell, n = 12 × 1² = 2
L shell, n = 22 × 2² = 8
M shell, n = 32 × 3² = 18
N shell, n = 42 × 4² = 32

Thus, 

  • 1st shell can hold 2 electrons.
  • 2nd shell can hold 8 electrons.
  • 3rd shell can hold 18 electrons.
  • 4th shell can hold 32 electrons.

Now the atomic number of sulfur (S) is 16.

Hence the sulfur element has electrons arrangement 2, 8, 6.

This electron arrangement indicates that the outermost orbit of sulfur element (S) has 6 electrons.

Hence, it lies in group 16.

Why is Sulfur in Period 3?

Why is Sulfur in Period 3

Let me ask you a question.

How many shells does sulfur have?

It’s 3. Right? 

You have already seen the bohr model of sulfur element in the above table.

From the Bohr model, it can be found that the number of orbits or shells in sulfur is 3. Hence, as sulfur has 3 orbits, it lies in period 3 of the Periodic table.

Why is Sulfur in p-block?

Why is Sulfur in p-block

Before explaining the reason, first of all I want to ask you a simple question.

How can you determine the blocks-wise position of elements?

The simple answer: The elements will lie in the s, p, d or f block will completely depend upon the subshell in which the last electron will enter.

For example; the electron configuration of sulfur is [Ne] 3s2 3p4

So the last electron of sulfur enters the p-subshell or p-orbital. 

Hence, sulfur is the p-block element.

10 Interesting facts about Sulfur

Interesting facts about sulfur element are mentioned below.

  1. Sulfur is the 10th most abundant element in the entire universe.
  2. 3% of the earth’s mass is occupied by sulfur.
  3. According to some estimates, the mass of sulfur present in earth is sufficient to make two moons.
  4. Sulfur is one of the few elements that can be found in a pure form.
  5. Sulfur element is mainly found in volcanoes and it is also present on meteorites.
  6. Acid rain occurs due to the increase in sulfur dioxide proportion in the atmosphere.
  7. Sulfur is present in foods as well as the human body.
  8. Sulfur is present in onions which makes you cry while cutting them.
  9. Smell of garlic is also due to the presence of sulfur in it.
  10. Discovery of sulfur is very ancient, so the person behind its discovery is still not known to us.

Properties of Sulfur

The physical and chemical properties of sulfur element are mentioned below.

Physical properties of Sulfur

Physical properties of sulfur are mentioned below.

  • Sulfur is a nonmetallic solid element having a lemon yellow color.
  • Sulfur turns reddish in color when it is burnt and after that it melts into liquid.
  • Pure sulfur has no smell, but the sulfur compounds have strong smells.
  • Hydrogen sulphide, which smells like rotten eggs is flammable and poisonous gas.
  • The melting point of sulfur is 115.2 °C and its boiling point is 444.6 °C.
  • Sulfur has an atomic mass of 32.06 amu and has a density of 1.96 g/cm3.

Chemical properties of Sulfur

Chemical properties of sulfur are mentioned below.

  • When sulfur is burnt in the air, it produces blue flame and liberates SO2 gas (which is a pollutant for earth’s atmosphere.)
  • Sulfur has variable oxidation states that allows it to form compounds with most other elements except noble gases.
  • Sulfur does not dissolve in water but it dissolves in carbon disulphide.
  • Sulfur dioxide gas reacts with the moisture of the atmosphere and forms a sulfuric acid, which comes down to the earth as an acid rain.

Uses of Sulfur

Uses of sulfur are mentioned below.

  • Sulfur is mainly used in production of sulfuric acid.
  • Sulfuric acid is utilized in the manufacturing of fertilizers for plants.
  • It is also used in manufacturing of synthetic detergents, dyes and pigments.
  • Sulfur is also helpful in making rubber and cement.
  • Sulfuric acid is also used in manufacturing of electrical devices (i.e vehicle batteries).

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References:
Chemical data: Wikipedia, Chemspider
Sulfur element: Image by Ivar Leidus, CC BY-SA 4.0, via Wikimedia Commons

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