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lumps of sulphur
Sulphur is represented by the symbol 'S' in the periodic table and has an atomic number of 16 and a standard relative atomic mass of 32.065[1]. The name may have been derived from the Arabic ‘sufra’ meaning yellow, or the Sanskrit ‘shulbari’ meaning enemy (ari) of copper (shulba)[2]. It is a naturally occuring element which is frequently found and regarded as an essential element for life. It is found in the amino acids methionine and cysteine. In cysteine the - SH group reacts with another -SH group on a different cysteine forming a disulphide bond [3]

When combined with oxygen, sulphur can form a dioxide or trioxide


  1. NIST. Sulfur. 2016 [cited 03/12/16]; Available from:
  2. G. Eggert, M. Weichert, H. Euler, B. Barbier, Some news about Black Spots., 2004, Proceedings of Metal, p142 (pdf download).
  3. Berg J.,Tymoczko J. and Stryer L. (2012) Biochemistry. 7th edition, Basinstoke: Freeman.
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