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Infobox on Sulphur
Example of Sulphur
Origin -
Density (in t/m3) -
Temperature (in oC) -
Humidity / moisture -
Ventilation -
Self-heating / spontaneous combustion -
Risk factors -



Yellow, crystalline non-metallic element existing in two stable crystalline state. Both forms are insoluble in water and slightly soluble in common organic solvents.

Sulphur is an easily igniting, solid substance and exists in the shape of lumps, bars and as fine-grained to very fine powder. Yellow in color, contact of sulphur with chlorates, nitrates, perchlorates and permanganates leads to the risk of explosion. Sulphur is not soluble in water and when in contact with oil and fat there is the danger of fire. The sulphurous smell can affect piece goods, potatoes and other consumption articles.

Sulphurs dust, sulphur in water and burned sulphur can be very corrosive. Silver in the vicinity of sulphur turns black and paint may scale off. A cloud of sulphur dust is subject to risk of explosion and will easily be ignited by sparks from e.g. iron to iron, static electricity caused by friction and even among particles of sulphur. The risk of dust explosion can be prevented by proper ventilation of the container during stuffing or unstuffing.

Burning sulphur produces the asphyxiating sulphur dioxide (SO2) and could be extinguished by a layer of cold sulphur or with fresh water. Do not use sea water because the mixture will form a hydrochloric acid. Measures to be taken prior to stuffing.

Container must be very well cleaned and dried before stuffing. Ceilings also to be made dust-proof. Dirty sulphur is worthless. The floor must be lathed and well stopped.

When stuffing or unstuffing safety equipment must be on hand including breathing apparatus, Draeger gas-tester with tubes (SO2), protective clothing, fresh water and CO2-fire extinguishers. If chutes are being used for loading, they must be electricity connected with the container for discharge of static electricity.

During the voyage the temperature in the container may run up to 42°C after departure. This has not to be considered as abnormal and in most cases the temperature will drop again after a while.


  • Dunnage removed from the area.
  • Containers thoroughly cleaned and dry. No loose steel parts to be left behind.
  • Floors made sulphur-proof.
  • In case of fire, if justified, use as little water as possible and do not use salt water. Preferably CO2-extinguishers.
  • Well ventilated.
  • Breathing apparatus, Draeger gas tester with kept tubes, protective clothing, CO2-extinguishers and fresh water ready for immediate use, when stuffing/unstuffing.

Reference is made to the relevant IMO regulations of hazardous cargo.

Full information on this product is in the process of completion.

See also: