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New Contributor II

Oxidizing elemental sulfur

I would like feedback as to the feasibility of the following procedure.

The problem with oxidizing elemental sulfur is the difficulty in creating a solution of the element. This summary outlines a process for oxidizing elemental sulfur to sulfuric acid with hydrogen peroxide.

Elemental sulfur is slightly soluble in aniline. Aniline is slightly soluble in water. Ideally, enough sulfur is solubilized in a mixture of aniline and hydrogen peroxide so sulfuric acid is produced.


  • Weigh accurately a small amount of the elemental sulfur and place in a headspace vial.
  • Add 5 mL of aniline, mix and sonicate for 15 min.
  • Slowly add 5 mL of 30% hydrogen peroxide and cap vial.
  • If the solution heats up, place the vial in a cool water bath.
  • Wait 1 hour or until the vial cools to ambient temperature.
  • Centrifuge the vial to remove particles.
  • Add the supernatant to 5 mL of barium chloride solution and wait 10 min.
  • Centrifuge the mixture and dry the precipitate.
  • Weigh the precipitate to determine the amount of sulfuric acid produced from the oxidation.
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