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Answer by Poonam hosany on question Reaction between iron and sulfur

Submitted by sat on 28 April 2016

Fe and S: The reaction between iron fillings and sulfur powder demonstrates the exothermic reaction of two elements to form the compound iron (II) sulfide (FeS). This reaction is usually used to illustrate elements, mixtures and compounds. This reaction generates sulfur dioxide gas, which is toxic and corrosive and small quantities can trigger asthma attacks. Therefore, Science ASSIST recommends that this reaction be conducted as a teacher demonstration only and be carried out in an operating fume cupboard.


The equation for this reaction is Fe(s) + S(s) → FeS(s) and requires Fe and S in a 7:4 ratio by mass. The homogeneous mixture of iron fillings and sulfur powder is heated in a crucible with the lid on using a Bunsen burner. The lid prevents the sulfur vapour from escaping and possibly catching fire. If the sulfur catches fire, then sulfur dioxide gas will be evolved. At the end of the reaction, a hard black residue of iron (II) sulfide is formed at the bottom of the crucible. Iron (II) sulfide can be discarded into the general wastes container, as it is not considered hazardous.


Science ASSIST recommends the following for this reaction.


FeS and acid: This reaction generates hydrogen sulfide gas, which is flammable and toxic and small quantities can trigger asthma attacks. Therefore, Science ASSIST recommends that this reaction be conducted as a teacher demonstration only and be carried out in an operating fume cupboard. This is preferable to conducting the activity outdoors because the fume cupboard is a controlled environment, whereas weather conditions can be unpredictable outside.


The equation for this reaction is FeS(s) + 2 HCl(aq) →  H2S(g) + FeCl2(aq)


Science ASSIST recommends the following for this reaction.


References


‘Iron and Sulfur Reaction’ Royal Society of Chemistry website, http://www.rsc.org/learn-chemistry/resource/res00000713/iron-and-sulfur-reaction?cmpid=CMP00005161  (Accessed April 2016)


‘Hydrogen sulfide hazards’. Safety and health topics. OSHA website https://www.osha.gov/SLTC/hydrogensulfide/hazards.html (Accessed April 2016)


'Iron filings' Safety Data Sheet, Chem Supply website, https://www.chemsupply.com.au/documents/IT0141CH38.pdf (February 2016)


‘Iron (II) Sulfide' Safety Data Sheet, Chem Supply website, https://www.chemsupply.com.au/documents/IT0161CH3A.pdf (September 2012)


OSHA. 2005. Hydrogen sulfide fact sheet. OSHA. https://www.osha.gov/OshDoc/data_Hurricane_Facts/hydrogen_sulfide_fact.pdf


‘Sulfur” Safety Data Sheet, Chem Supply website, https://www.chemsupply.com.au/documents/SL0061CH71.pdf (Aug 2014)