Saturday, October 31, 2009

Halloween & the Chemist


It's Halloween and I thought a little bit about sulphur would be fitting as sulphur is the basis of brimstone and supposedly the smell of Hades is burning brimstone.

I have never seen as pretty a piece of sulphur as that above, apparently it grew in a volcano. Usually, sulphur is a yellow powder. Dull.

Sulphur is the basis of one of the most common food additives, the preservative sulphur dioxide. Which used to be created by burning sulphur.

Still is in Hell, we are told.

Below is a small video on sulphur put out by the University of Nottingham. Like all good chemistry videos, it has explosions in it.



  1. Don't decaying bodies give off sulphur?

  2. Mostly amines - the wonderfully named Putrescine and Cadaverine.


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