14 May 2021 Bulletin

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Sulphur Dioxide

Sulphur dioxide is the chemical compound with the formula SO2. It is a toxic gas with a pungent, irritating smell. [1] It is a liquid when under pressure, and it dissolves in water very easily. [2] Sulphur dioxide gas is heavier than air. In water, the solution is a medium strength acid. It reacts violently with ammonia, acrolein, acetylene, alkali metals, chlorine, ethylene oxide, amines, butadiene. It also reacts with water or steam causing a corrosion hazard. Sulphur dioxide attacks many metals including aluminium, iron, steel, brass, copper and nickel in presence of water and is incompatible with halogens. It attacks plastics, rubber and coatings in liquid form. [3] Sulphur dioxide in the air comes mainly from activities such as the burning of coal and oil at power plants or from copper smelting. In nature, sulphur dioxide can be released to the air from volcanic eruptions. [2]

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