Sulfur is of ancient origin. It is a nonmetal which exists in a three different allotropic forms.
Sulfur compounds are found in varying amount in all natural petroleum. This is a problem because most sulfur compounds have unpleasant odours, and on combustion produce sulfur dioxide, an atmospheric pollutant.
Most commercially available sulfur is used in the manufacture of sulfuric acid, H2SO4. This is the primary acid of chemical industry because it is one of the cheapest, and it is used in the manufacture of many other acids. Sulfuric acid is made at many locations across Canada by several companies. The largest Canadian producer is C.I.L. which makes most of its acid at Copper Cliff, Ontario. Sulfur dioxide from the roasting of iron sulfide ore in INCO's iron ore recovery plant is converted to sulfuric acid by the contact process.
Among the major uses of sulfuric acid are: