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Preparation of Lower Oxide of Sulphur


RECENT work on the lower oxide of sulphur1,2 has established that disulphur monoxide (S2O) or its polymeric form is produced when sulphur is burnt in oxygen under reduced pressure. It has now been shown that it is possible to make use of an oxide of a heavy metal as a source of limited supply of oxygen to prepare the disulphur monoxide. For example, when a mixture of finely powdered cupric oxide and sulphur (1 : 5 by weight) is heated under vacuum in a glass tube gaseous products are evolved. which, on cooling in a trap surrounded by liquid air, will give an orange-red condensate (S2O)x. This condensate also gives off sulphur dioxide in stages as the temperature is raised, finally leaving a residue of elemental sulphur. Copper sulphide and excess of sulphur are left behind in the reaction tube.

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  1. Murthy, A. R. Vasudeva, Proc. Ind. Acad. Sci., 36, 388, 425 (1952).

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  2. Meschie, J., and Myers, R. J., J. Mol. Spect., 3, 405 (1959).

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  3. Ondrejcin, R. S., U.S. Atomic Energy Comm., D-P-497 (1960).

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MURTHY, A. Preparation of Lower Oxide of Sulphur. Nature 193, 773–774 (1962).

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