Sciencemadness Discussion Board

List of metals sulfur can burn with ?

KonkreteRocketry - 7-4-2013 at 11:21

Same as title, im asking for a list of metals sulfur can burn with.

I already know sulfur can burn with Zinc violently, and not bad with magnesium and aluminum, and sulfur have reaction with many other metals, can i have a list of metals sulfur can react zinc with ? from most reactive with sulfur to least. Thanks.

Ral123 - 7-4-2013 at 12:46

Sulfur will burn well with any metal, as long as it's less then 50%. Above that it may get a bit hard to ignite as the metal particles may get in the way of the oxygen from the air :D

Metacelsus - 7-4-2013 at 14:21

Although the reaction of sulfur with any metal that I had data for was spontaneous at STP, I doubt the reaction rate would be significant for the less active metals. In other words, getting sulfur to burn with silver, although the reaction has a delta G of -40.7 kJ/mol at room temperature, might be difficult. For ranking metals by reactivity with sulfur, I would just use a standard activity series.

AJKOER - 8-4-2013 at 17:25

OK, remain an important point, particle size. If you make very fine Fe/FeO from the thermal decompositon of Ferric Oxalate, it literally burns on exposure to air!

Heating the Tartaric salt may also be able to produce fine metal dust.

At that particle size point, no problem reacting with S, or nearly anything else for that matter, for a large number of metals. This may be useful for adding exotic colors to your fireworks. The down side, more reactive means lower stability and a higher propensity for premature ignition/explosion, so scale down seriously.

KonkreteRocketry - 9-4-2013 at 06:43

Quote: Originally posted by AJKOER  
OK, remain an important point, particle size. If you make very fine Fe/FeO from the thermal decompositon of Ferric Oxalate, it literally burns on exposure to air!

Heating the Tartaric salt may also be able to produce fine metal dust.

At that particle size point, no problem reacting with S, or nearly anything else for that matter, for a large number of metals. This may be useful for adding exotic colors to your fireworks. The down side, more reactive means lower stability and a higher propensity for premature ignition/explosion, so scale down seriously.


Well im really asking for some pyrotechnical mixtures, like Zn-S, or Mg-S, Al-S, so on.

Antiswat - 9-4-2013 at 06:45

iirc iron reacts decently with sulfur aswell..
you probably know it already but just to add it in, you can test for sulfide by adding a drop of HCl to it and smell if it smells like H2S
but magnesium doesnt react well with sulfur, it can nearly selfconfine if its a good mesh!
i got 900 mesh zinc, and with lower mesh magnesium its a decent flashpowder where with zinc it well burns, with a nice decent speed..

KonkreteRocketry - 10-4-2013 at 01:57

Quote: Originally posted by Antiswat  
iirc iron reacts decently with sulfur aswell..
you probably know it already but just to add it in, you can test for sulfide by adding a drop of HCl to it and smell if it smells like H2S
but magnesium doesnt react well with sulfur, it can nearly selfconfine if its a good mesh!
i got 900 mesh zinc, and with lower mesh magnesium its a decent flashpowder where with zinc it well burns, with a nice decent speed..


Yes i know zinc is good, and iron can burn with it too, what about copper ? calcium ? titanium ? aluminum ?

Metacelsus - 14-4-2013 at 10:54

Calcium and aluminum definitely react. (Be careful disposing of the aluminum sulfide; it hydrolyzes to aluminum oxide and H2S). Titanium probably reacts, copper might as well.

Antiswat - 22-4-2013 at 10:32

Quote: Originally posted by KonkreteRocketry  
Quote: Originally posted by Antiswat  
iirc iron reacts decently with sulfur aswell..
you probably know it already but just to add it in, you can test for sulfide by adding a drop of HCl to it and smell if it smells like H2S
but magnesium doesnt react well with sulfur, it can nearly selfconfine if its a good mesh!
i got 900 mesh zinc, and with lower mesh magnesium its a decent flashpowder where with zinc it well burns, with a nice decent speed..


Yes i know zinc is good, and iron can burn with it too, what about copper ? calcium ? titanium ? aluminum ?


longest time i took to reply ever. sorry!
i believe cerium can aswell (very reactive) neodymion i believe too..
copper.. plausible? actually i have superfine copper powder from CuSO4 + Fe.. might try it? (:
calcium very surely
titanium, very reactive also
aluminium, i think ill find out later as i know another guy trying out this as he plans to make a vortex canon with H2S, offtopic but still hilarius idea..

Antiswat - 22-4-2013 at 10:49

ok.. i tried Cu + S
apparently S + HCl does react to give abit of SO2 and abit of H2S
i burnt roughly 1:1 Cu + S
flamed up well with a nice deep blue flame, turned pitchblack
mixed with HCl, i smelled H2S but.. S+HCl does this too
i didnt get a blueish or green CuCl2 solution, so im doubtful about this..

KonkreteRocketry - 22-4-2013 at 22:19

Quote: Originally posted by Antiswat  
ok.. i tried Cu + S
apparently S + HCl does react to give abit of SO2 and abit of H2S
i burnt roughly 1:1 Cu + S
flamed up well with a nice deep blue flame, turned pitchblack
mixed with HCl, i smelled H2S but.. S+HCl does this too
i didnt get a blueish or green CuCl2 solution, so im doubtful about this..


umm copper is kind of too unreactive, or sulfur is a weak oxidizer too. Any ways, are there any videos of calcium, titanium, to sulfur mixes ? i really want to see.

Metacelsus - 23-4-2013 at 10:12

Quote: Originally posted by Antiswat  
ok.. i tried Cu + S
apparently S + HCl does react to give abit of SO2 and abit of H2S
i burnt roughly 1:1 Cu + S
flamed up well with a nice deep blue flame, turned pitchblack
mixed with HCl, i smelled H2S but.. S+HCl does this too
i didnt get a blueish or green CuCl2 solution, so im doubtful about this..


The flame you saw was probably just the sulfur burning in air. It has a blue flame unrelated to the copper. If you actually had CuS you would have noticed a green solution.

KonkreteRocketry - 24-4-2013 at 09:46

Quote: Originally posted by Cheddite Cheese  
Quote: Originally posted by Antiswat  
ok.. i tried Cu + S
apparently S + HCl does react to give abit of SO2 and abit of H2S
i burnt roughly 1:1 Cu + S
flamed up well with a nice deep blue flame, turned pitchblack
mixed with HCl, i smelled H2S but.. S+HCl does this too
i didnt get a blueish or green CuCl2 solution, so im doubtful about this..


The flame you saw was probably just the sulfur burning in air. It has a blue flame unrelated to the copper. If you actually had CuS you would have noticed a green solution.


Yup i kind of agree.

chemcam - 24-4-2013 at 10:02

KR, why such a short post? How about you elaborate on why you say "kind of agree" do you have experience with doing such a procedure with different results? Have you reading material that states otherwise? Do you have an alternate experiment to get these results? I would like to read more details, even if this OP left us a very basic question (?metal+sulfur) everyone can learn something if people post their experiments.

KonkreteRocketry - 25-4-2013 at 05:30

Quote: Originally posted by chemcam  
KR, why such a short post? How about you elaborate on why you say "kind of agree" do you have experience with doing such a procedure with different results? Have you reading material that states otherwise? Do you have an alternate experiment to get these results? I would like to read more details, even if this OP left us a very basic question (?metal+sulfur) everyone can learn something if people post their experiments.


well, i said i agree, because i tried burning sulfur mixtures a lot of times. And normally sulfur mixtures ignite at a higher temperature than a normal lighter need, so the first few times i was trying sulfur-zinc, there was a blue flame, and i knew the zinc wasnt burning but the sulfur was, but when i used a butane lighter it just blew up in a green ish flame.