Sulfur is a chemical element with the symbol S and atomic number 16. This element is an abundant yet non-metallic and polyvalent element. Under normal conditions, sulfur atoms form circular ectoderm molecules with the chemical formula S8. It is a solid crystalline element that is light yellow at room temperature.
Much sulfur compounds have odors, including odors such as grapefruit, garlic, and natural gas, which are because of organosulfur compounds.
It is the tenth most abundant element in the world in terms of quantity and the fifth most abundant element on Earth. Although sometimes found in pure and native form, it is commonly found as the sulfate and sulfide minerals. Hydrogen sulfide gives a certain smell to biological processes.
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Sulfur and life
It is an essential element for all life, but is almost always as organosulfur compounds or metal sulfides. These include three amino acids (cysteine, methionine) and two vitamins (biotin and thiamine). Many cofactors also contain sulfur, including glutathione, thyroxin, and the proteins iron and sulfur.
Disulfides, S-S bonds, have the mechanical strength and insolubility of the creatine protein found in the skin, hair, and outer feathers. It is one of the main chemical elements required for biochemical function and is an essential nutrient for all living organisms.
Physical and chemical properties
It burns with the formation of a sulfur dioxide flame with a blue flame that has a suffocating and irritating odor. It is insoluble in water but soluble in carbon disulfide and to a lesser extent in other non-polar organic solvents such as benzene and toluene.