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Mabus
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[*] posted on 15-7-2016 at 10:27
Sulfur mining in Indonesia


http://edition.cnn.com/2016/07/07/asia/indonesia-volcano-ije...

Those are some pretty huge chunks of sulfur. :o
I wonder how pure is the solidified sulfur they make, given their crude machinery.




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careysub
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[*] posted on 15-7-2016 at 11:04


Quote: Originally posted by Mabus  
http://edition.cnn.com/2016/07/07/asia/indonesia-volcano-ije...

Those are some pretty huge chunks of sulfur. :o
I wonder how pure is the solidified sulfur they make, given their crude machinery.


They aren't "making" sulfur, or even using any machinery, they are mining it (i.e. collecting it) by hand.

The raw sulfur would be purified the usual way by the mining company that buys it - by distillation (probably double distillation). This makes pretty pure sulfur, the usual sulfur of commerce.

[Edited on 15-7-2016 by careysub]
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[*] posted on 15-7-2016 at 11:09


That is a seriously hard way to make a living!
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[*] posted on 15-7-2016 at 11:45


This is a thought that's been on my mind for some time. Sulfur mines that is.

There's an old sulfur mine about 20-30 miles down the road from me. I've been

wondering if it would be worth a visit, or even what type of mining methods they

used. Ill be the first to admit, I haven't done much research on it myself. There's

several other different types of mines in the area too, that are abandoned.

Sulfur, though, to me, would be worth looking into
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Mabus
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[*] posted on 15-7-2016 at 13:25


Quote: Originally posted by careysub  
Quote: Originally posted by Mabus  
http://edition.cnn.com/2016/07/07/asia/indonesia-volcano-ije...

Those are some pretty huge chunks of sulfur. :o
I wonder how pure is the solidified sulfur they make, given their crude machinery.


They aren't "making" sulfur, or even using any machinery, they are mining it (i.e. collecting it) by hand.

The raw sulfur would be purified the usual way by the mining company that buys it - by distillation (probably double distillation). This makes pretty pure sulfur, the usual sulfur of commerce.

[Edited on 15-7-2016 by careysub]


I meant the people melting the raw sulfur at the jungle factory, not the miners. Those who melt the raw sulfur and filter it to remove the rocks and then sell it further.




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careysub
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[*] posted on 15-7-2016 at 16:34


Quote: Originally posted by Mabus  
Quote: Originally posted by careysub  
Quote: Originally posted by Mabus  
http://edition.cnn.com/2016/07/07/asia/indonesia-volcano-ije...

Those are some pretty huge chunks of sulfur. :o
I wonder how pure is the solidified sulfur they make, given their crude machinery.


They aren't "making" sulfur, or even using any machinery, they are mining it (i.e. collecting it) by hand.

The raw sulfur would be purified the usual way by the mining company that buys it - by distillation (probably double distillation). This makes pretty pure sulfur, the usual sulfur of commerce.

[Edited on 15-7-2016 by careysub]


I meant the people melting the raw sulfur at the jungle factory, not the miners. Those who melt the raw sulfur and filter it to remove the rocks and then sell it further.


Oh, I see.

I got down as far as:
"An executive with the sulfur mining company PT Candi Ngrimbi says..." and stopped there. I was assuming that a "sulfur mining company" was going to use the usual methods to prepare the sulfur for commerce, since these are straightforward. I did not see the "factory in the jungle" part.

Without even one distillation it is not going to be very pure, of even sand and dirt free.
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[*] posted on 16-7-2016 at 05:56


Some photos of the purified sheets of sulfur that have hardened.
http://www.huffingtonpost.com/entry/volcano-blue-fire-sulfur...

I liked the tortoise and rabbit made of sulfur sold to tourists. Clever marketing strategy. I wonder if they coat them with something or use an additive? Maybe a sulfur-crested cockatoo figurine would be nice. ha
And this ...
"Southeast Asia, Indonesia, East Java. Kawah Ijen Sulphur Mines. Sulphur factory where sulphur is purified and packed, located in the jungle next to the village of Taman Sari, some 15 km down from the sulphur mines of Kawah Ijen. Worker pours filtered red molten sulphur on the ceramic floor." 08/2011. © 2011 Vova Pomortzeff / Agentur Focus
sulphur_mines_87.jpg
http://www.pomortzeff.com/photos/story/2011/sulphur/ijen_min...
http://www.pomortzeff.com/photos/story/2011/sulphur/ijen_fac...
http://agentur-focus.de/Lightboxen/ANGEBOTE/FEATURES/2014/Wi...

[Edited on 16-7-2016 by Morgan]
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[*] posted on 16-7-2016 at 16:45


I have a jar sitting here on my desk with sulfur that I collected from another Indonesian volcano (Gunung Bromo).
My sister vomited when we were standing on the rim of the crater and a cloud of fumes was blown our way. It was obviously an extremely unhealthy environment and I feel sorry for the men and woman that have no other choice but to work in these conditions to feed their family.




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[*] posted on 17-7-2016 at 05:41


They give the workers dust masks to protect against the gases, nice.
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[*] posted on 17-7-2016 at 06:59


I guess mining sulfur this way is sadly but one of many barbaric dirty jobs that still exist in the evolving world today.
Looking at some other molded sulfur shapes that the people sell to eke out a living, these lighter colored shapes appear to be press molded from powdered sulfur but I don't know, as opposed to this turtle and rabbit which are said to be poured from molten sulfur. I guess too if you compressed or stamped powdered S hard enough and/or fast enough it would melt, like the plastic pellets used in a screw feed mechanism. Or maybe they are sintering a compressed sulfur powder shape.
http://agentur-focus.de/Lightboxen/ANGEBOTE/FEATURES/2014/Wi...
http://www.pomortzeff.com/photos/story/2011/sulphur/ijen_sto...
http://www.bcmtouring.com/forums/attachments/bcmt-dsc_8658-j...
http://media.gettyimages.com/photos/sulfur-souvenir-made-by-...
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[*] posted on 17-7-2016 at 07:39


Curiously, this process still continues while petrochemical sulfur piles up because there's no buyers. http://cen.chempics.org/post/116679929484/sulfur-mountain-ca...

My high school chemistry teacher used to have a photo of one of the old men hauling chunks of sulfur and was fond of saying, "Anytime you think your life is difficult, realize that you could be mining sulfur for a living."
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[*] posted on 17-7-2016 at 08:47


Quote: Originally posted by UC235  
Curiously, this process still continues while petrochemical sulfur piles up because there's no buyers. http://cen.chempics.org/post/116679929484/sulfur-mountain-ca...


That one pile has about 6 million (metric) tons of sulfur in it. The entire world market is around 80 million tons annually.

Apparently this sulfur surplus is a new thing, emerging just last year, but expected to continue for the next decade at least:
http://www.optimin.co.za/assets/documents/Sulphur-Market-Out...

http://www.argusmedia.com/fertilizer/world-sulphur-outlook-t...

[Edited on 17-7-2016 by careysub]
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[*] posted on 18-7-2016 at 04:56


I've actually been to Ijen, one of the volcanoes where they mine sulfur. It was pretty cool. When I was there many people tried to sell me a sulfur tortoise, but I declined.
There was one guy there who made a cool sulfur pile by pouring molten sulfur straight onto his hand! It was held underwater at the time, but it was still pretty awesome. Attached is a picture of the guy and his pile of sulfur, as well as some other pics.

IMG_20131214_033149.jpg - 170kBsulfur4.jpg - 221kBsulfur7.jpg - 252kBsulfur14.jpg - 184kB
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[*] posted on 18-7-2016 at 14:21


Quote: Originally posted by UC235  
Curiously, this process still continues while petrochemical sulfur piles up because there's no buyers. http://cen.chempics.org/post/116679929484/sulfur-mountain-ca...

My high school chemistry teacher used to have a photo of one of the old men hauling chunks of sulfur and was fond of saying, "Anytime you think your life is difficult, realize that you could be mining sulfur for a living."


This large mound of sulfur became dangerous.
"When a 30-foot mound of sulfur fell in a yellow avalanche and engulfed Joe Lammlein as he was working in a front-end loader Friday, his own brother tried to dig him out. Three responding deputies and other workers also dug, desperate to save the 45-year-old worker trapped in a sulfur pit at Port Tampa Bay. But they couldn't help him. Lammlein died trapped inside the buried front loader at Port Redwing off Wyandotte Road. It took about four hours for rescuers to recover his body, according to the Hillsborough County Sheriff's Office. On Friday evening, Lamm­lein's family was in mourning."
http://www.sulphuric-acid.com/techmanual/Plant_Safety/Sulphu...
http://www.sulphuric-acid.com/techmanual/Plant_Safety/Sulphu...
http://www.sulphuric-acid.com/techmanual/Plant_Safety/safety...
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[*] posted on 18-7-2016 at 17:07


So, why do they mine sulfur in Indonesia if there's a huge global surplus? Are transportation costs really more expensive than the mining costs? (I guess the very low wages of the workers keeps mining costs low.)



As below, so above.
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[*] posted on 18-7-2016 at 17:25


Quote: Originally posted by UC235  

My high school chemistry teacher used to have a photo of one of the old men hauling chunks of sulfur and was fond of saying, "Anytime you think your life is difficult, realize that you could be mining sulfur for a living."


That was my reaction after seeing the Indonesian sulfur mines in National Geographic or something

I've seen huge yellow piles of sulfur out West in Canada from highway 1. There is even one in the port in Vancouver

I suspect it comes from the Hydrodesulfurization process.

Of course the Canadian oil and gas industry is completely fucked in the ass now so maybe the piles of sulfur will disappear




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[*] posted on 18-7-2016 at 17:53


Quote: Originally posted by Metacelsus  
So, why do they mine sulfur in Indonesia if there's a huge global surplus? Are transportation costs really more expensive than the mining costs? (I guess the very low wages of the workers keeps mining costs low.)


What are the costs to the mining company? For sulfur delivered to them, the only cost is what they pay the miners. This is paid in local currency, possibly even 'company script' in whole or part. Then it is simply the cost to do what little purification they can get away with.

Sulfur from overseas must be paid for in hard currency.

Also notice that their market is very small. They aren't moving a lot of sulfur. So they have no real purchasing power to get good prices on Chinese sulfur.

On Alibaba the best price I see sulfur is about $1.50 kg, with a minimum order of 20 tonnes. Shipping for this amount from Dalian to Jakarta by container isn't much, $300 or so, but then it must be shipped to the local market.

The poverty line in Indonesia (according to the government) is $28 per capita per month. If a miner can bring in 1000 kg of sulfur a month and has a household of 4, then you could probably get away with paying them 20 cents a kilogram or even less. So yeah, this is cheaper than buying foreign sulfur.

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[*] posted on 18-7-2016 at 17:59


Another example of sulfur mining on an active volcano.
http://www.photovolcanica.com/VolcanoInfo/White%20Island/Whi...

10 workers were killed in 1914 and production ceased.
It reopened a few years later but was again halted for economic reasons.




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[*] posted on 18-7-2016 at 19:17


It's interesting to think what the surface of Io would look like up close and that there's a fair amount of sulfur there.
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sulfur#/media/File:Io_highest_...
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[*] posted on 18-7-2016 at 22:10


When I was there I was told most of the sulfur would be used in medicine. That explains why it could be sold for a higher price, as the stuff can be sold as "natural" I guess.
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[*] posted on 18-7-2016 at 22:15


Quote: Originally posted by Morgan  
It's interesting to think what the surface of Io would look like up close and that there's a fair amount of sulfur there.

Quote: Originally posted by Oscilllator  
When I was there I was told most of the sulfur would be used in medicine.

You went to Io?
Coooool!!

:P

[Edited on 19-7-2016 by j_sum1]




If you are interested, take a look at the latest offering from sum_lab:
A primer on metals and non-metals with at least one novel experiment.
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[*] posted on 19-7-2016 at 12:34


Quote: Originally posted by j_sum1  
Quote: Originally posted by Morgan  
It's interesting to think what the surface of Io would look like up close and that there's a fair amount of sulfur there.

Quote: Originally posted by Oscilllator  
When I was there I was told most of the sulfur would be used in medicine.

You went to Io?
Coooool!!

:P

[Edited on 19-7-2016 by j_sum1]


He has inadvertently revealed his alien nature.
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[*] posted on 19-7-2016 at 15:32


Quote: Originally posted by careysub  
Quote: Originally posted by j_sum1  
Quote: Originally posted by Morgan  
It's interesting to think what the surface of Io would look like up close and that there's a fair amount of sulfur there.

Quote: Originally posted by Oscilllator  
When I was there I was told most of the sulfur would be used in medicine.

You went to Io?
Coooool!!

:P

[Edited on 19-7-2016 by j_sum1]


He has inadvertently revealed his alien nature.


Interest in a sulfur forum and now this just makes it more incriminating.

Jupiter’s moons are pumped or "oscillated" by tidal forces as they orbit - See more at: http://www.astrobio.net/topic/solar-system/jupiter/jupiter-s...
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[*] posted on 19-7-2016 at 16:12


We have lots of SO2 in the air here - even on Oahu at times. Can get pretty bad.

http://weather.hawaii.edu/vmap/hysplit/hawso2_gif.cgi
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[*] posted on 20-7-2016 at 08:10


Quote: Originally posted by argyrium  
We have lots of SO2 in the air here - even on Oahu at times. Can get pretty bad.

http://weather.hawaii.edu/vmap/hysplit/hawso2_gif.cgi


I hadn't thought about Hawaii having problems with SO2.
"Park officials say it's a first in the Hawaii Volcanoes National Park's history - Kilauea spewing so much sulfur dioxide, rangers had to shut down the park and evacuate 2,000 people."
http://www.hawaiinewsnow.com/story/8139620/kilauea-spewing-d...
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