| IUPAC name
| Systematic IUPAC name
| Other names
|Molar mass||150.158 g/mol|
|Melting point||1,100 °C (2,010 °F; 1,370 K)|
|Boiling point||1,500 °C (2,730 °F; 1,770 K)|
|Hydrolyses to release H2S|
|Solubility|| Reacts with acids|
Insoluble in organic solvents
|116.9 J/mol K|
Std enthalpy of
|Safety data sheet||LTS Research Laboratories, Inc.|
Except where otherwise noted, data are given for materials in their standard state (at 25 °C [77 °F], 100 kPa).
Aluminium sulfide or aluminium sulphide is a gray chemical compound, that readily hydrolyzes in air to release hydrogen sulfide gas. It has the chemical formula Al2S3.
Aluminium sulfide reacts with water to release hydrogen sulfide:
- Al2S3 + 6 H2O → 2 Al(OH)3 + 3 H2S
This reaction is a cheap and accessible way to obtain hydrogen sulfide.
Aluminium sulfide will react with alcohols at high temperature to give their respective thiols. such as: With methanol, it forms methanethiol and dimethyl sulfide, the yield being 40-45 % and 15% for each product, at 300 °C; reaction with ethanol gives ethanethiol at temperatures between 310-360 °C, with a 39% yield. At 310 °C it reacts with propanol to give propanethiol, with a 32.5 % yield. Reaction with ethers gives thioethers.
Aluminium sulfide will not react with aromatic hydrocarbons. It also tends to decompose slightly under vacuum.
Aluminium sulfide is a greyish solid, with a bad sulfide smell, especially in moist air. It reacts with water to release hydrogen sulfide, and is insoluble in most solvents. It melts at 1100 °C and sublimes at 1,500 °C. Aluminium sulfide has at least six crystalline forms, the more important ones being α, β, γ and δ.
Aluminium sulfide is sold by various chemical suppliers.
- 2 Al + 3 S → Al2S3
The mixture is somewhat difficult to ignite and burns much slower than the classical thermite. The resulting sulfide results in a fused form and is very hard, requiring grinding. If it reaches temperatures greater than 1100 °C, it may melt its way through steel.
- 4 Al + 5 KSCN = 2 AlN + Al2S3 + 2 K2S + KCN + 4 C + N2
- Make hydrogen sulfide
- Make ethanethiol (ethyl mercaptane)
- Make aluminium metal, by reacting aluminium sulfide with alumina at high temperatures
Aluminium sulfide releases hydrogen sulfide vapors in moist air, which has an extremely unpleasant smell and is very toxic. Given that the latter is detectable in minute quantities, sealing the container is mandatory, otherwise you will stink your lab.
Aluminium sulfide must be stored in air tight sealed containers or ampoules, as it will hydrolyze in the presence of moisture to release hydrogen sulfide, an extremely toxic and unpleasant gas.
Aluminium sulfide can be neutralized with hydrogen peroxide or bleach. This oxidizes the aluminium sulfide to aluminium sulfate.
- Levi, G. R.; Natta, G.; Atti della Accademia Nazionale dei Lincei, Classe di Scienze Fisiche, Matematiche e Naturali, Rendiconti; vol. 33; (1924); p. 350
- "Z. Anorg. Chem.; vol. 156; (1926); p. 228".
- Cavazzi, A.; Mem. Accad. Bologna (4); vol. 7; (1887); p. 27 - 27; C.; (1887); p. 888
- Matignon, C.; Comptes Rendus Hebdomadaires des Seances de l'Academie des Sciences; vol. 130; (1900); p. 1392