Sulfur occurs as a sulphide or as a sulphate mineral. It is a chemical element, occurs as a multivalent or in a nonmetallic form, and it has the symbol S and atomic number 16 on the periodic table. It is mostly found in its native form although it can rarely be seen in a pure form. Sulfur has a history that dates back to ancient times in countries like India, Greece, China, and Egypt. The most important use of sulfur is the production of sulphuric acid, sulphate, phosphate fertilisers, and other chemical products. The other by-product uses of sulfur include making of matches insecticides and fungicides among other applications. The extraction of sulfur as from the 20th century came from salt domes in its natural form, but recently sulfur extraction comes as a byproduct of petroleum and natural gas.
World's Top Exporters of Sulfur
Canada ranks as the top nation worldwide in production and exportation of sulfur. The exportation of sufur was at its peak in the late 19th century. This was due to a rise in demand both domestically and commercially, increasing its production by a significant percentage. The country accounts for 40% of all the sulfur exports in the world. The first plant for production of sulfur related products was built in 1950. The top importers of sulfur from Canada are the US, Mexico, South Africa, and Morocco. The country gets a total of 63.1 million dollars annually from its sales.
India is the second largest producer and exporter of sulfur and its products in the world. The country produces so much sulfur that it is ranking as the top sulfur dioxide emitter, a very toxic pollutant of air. Over the years, research has indicated that the agriculture industry is doing well and is rising while production of sulfur declines although not drastically as India remains to be the second top producer in the world. The country makes a total of 25.9 million dollars annually from the exportation of sulfur. Countries that import sulfur from India include South Africa, the Democratic Republic of Congo, and Mexico.
Bahrain produces millions of tons of sulfur annually, and therefore it comes third in ranking for top countries exporting sulfur in the world. Although the nation provides other minerals like natural gas, urea, petroleum products, and methanol, its top mineral product is sulfur. Production and exportation of sulfur in Bahrain have been there from back in the 18th century. There are many industries put in place to facilitate the creation of sulfur, and they have been growing over time to make the country third top exporter of the product. Research shows that the nation produces a total of 13.2 million dollars from sulfur exports yearly.
Sulfur Production on the Rise
Sulfur production and exportation in the world has been on the rise from the previous centuries, and more nations are embracing the mineral. Studies reveal that production of sulfur will rise significantly over the years to ranking it the top export and import in the world. Production of sulfur generates sulfur dioxide that pollutes the environment and if not taken care of its going to be a menace to the environment.