Sulfur in pure oxygen

Sulfur burns with a beautiful blue flame and formation of steam.

Scientific name: Sulfur is oxidized by pure oxygen producing sulfur dioxide.


Sulfur in pure oxygen

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This experiment must be performed only outside or in a fume hood. Wear eye protection goggles and gloves.

Always follow general safety recommendations. Please note that conducting chemistry experiments you must comply with the relevant legal procedures in your country.

Reaction formula

S + O2 → SO2


  1. Oxygen
  2. Sulfur

Step-by-step instruction

WARNING! This experiment is dangerous! You should NOT perform this at home. ONLY carry out this experiment, if you are a trained chemist, and you understand local safety and legal requirements, which are required to perform such experiments

  1. Since sulfur dioxide is a hazardous gas, this experiment must be performed only outside or in a fume hood.
  2. Prepare a hermetically sealed flask and long deflagrating spoon.
  3. Fill the flask with oxygen.
  4. Fill the spoon with sulfur.
  5. Heat the spoon with a gas burner in order to facilitate sulfur ignition.
  6. Put the spoon into the flask.
  7. Sulfur burns with a blue flame producing sulfur dioxide.

Scientific background

Combustion of sulfur in pure oxygen is a very beautiful process. It burns with a brilliant blue flame. The main product of the reaction is sulfur dioxide:

S + O2 → SO2


Published on 25 February 2015

  • Fire
  • Heating with fire
  • Explosion
  • Poisoned gas
  • Organic
  • Electricity
  • Solution
  • Oxidation reduction
  • Color change
  • Precipitate
  • Gassing
  • Catalyst