sulphate n : a salt or ester of sulphuric acid [syn: sulfate]
- alternative spelling of sulfate
- alternative spelling of sulfate
In inorganic chemistry, a sulfate (IUPAC-recommended spelling; also sulphate in British English) is a salt of sulfuric acid.
Chemical propertiesThe sulfate ion is a polyatomic anion with the empirical formula SO42− and a molecular mass of 96.06 daltons; it consists of a central sulfur atom surrounded by four equivalent oxygen atoms in a tetrahedral arrangement. The sulfate ion carries a negative two charge and is the conjugate base of the bisulfate (or hydrogen sulfate) ion, HSO4−, which is the conjugate base of H2SO4, sulfuric acid. Organic sulfates, such as dimethyl sulfate, are covalent compounds and esters of sulfuric acid.
PreparationMethods of preparing ionic sulfates include:
PropertiesMany examples of ionic sulfates are known, and many of these are highly soluble in water. Exceptions include calcium sulfate, strontium sulfate, and barium sulfate, which are poorly soluble. The barium derivative is useful in the gravimetric analysis of sulfate: one adds a solution of, perhaps, barium chloride to a solution containing sulfate ions. The appearance of a white precipitate, which is barium sulfate, indicates that sulfate anions are present.
The sulfate ion can act as a ligand attaching either by one oxygen (monodentate) or by two oxygens as either a chelate or a bridge.
Later, Linus Pauling used valence bond theory to propose that the most significant resonance canonicals had two π bonds (see above) involving d orbitals. His reasoning was that the charge on sulfur was thus reduced, in accordance with his principle of electroneutrality. The double bonding was taken by Pauling to account for the shortness of the S-O bond (149 pm).
Pauling's use of d orbitals provoked a debate on the relative importance of π bonding and bond polarity (electrostatic attraction) in causing the shortening of the S-O bond. The outcome was a broad consensus that d orbitals play a role, but are not as significant as Pauling had believed. A widely accepted description involves pπ - dπ bonding, initially proposed by D.W.J Cruickshank, where fully occupied p orbitals on oxygen overlap with empty sulfur d orbitals (principally the dz2 and dx2-y2). In this description, while there is some π character to the S-O bonds, the bond has significant ionic character. This explanation is quoted in some current textbooks. The Pauling bonding representation for sulfate and other main group compounds with oxygen is a common way of representing the bonding in many textbooks. Green vitriol is ferrous sulfate heptahydrate, FeSO4·7H2O; blue vitriol is copper sulfate pentahydrate, CuSO4·5H2O and white vitriol is zinc sulfate heptahydrate, ZnSO4·7H2O. Alum, a double sulfate with the formula K2Al2(SO4)4·24H2O, figured in the development of the chemical industry.
Environmental effectsSulfates occur as microscopic particles (aerosols) resulting from fossil fuel and biomass combustion. They increase the acidity of the atmosphere and form acid rain.
Main effects on climateThe main direct effect of sulfates on the climate involves the scattering of light, effectively increasing the Earth's albedo. This effect is moderately well understood and leads to a cooling from the negative radiative forcing of about 0.5 W/m2 relative to pre-industrial values, partially offsetting the larger (about 2.4 W/m2) warming effect of greenhouse gases. The effect is strongly spatially non-uniform, being largest downstream of large industrial areas.
The first indirect effect is also known as the Twomey effect. Sulfate aerosols can act as cloud condensation nuclei and this leads to greater numbers of smaller droplets of water. Lots of smaller droplets can diffuse light more efficiently than just a few larger droplets.
The second indirect effect is the further knock-on effects of having more cloud condensation nuclei. It is proposed that these include the suppression of drizzle, increased cloud height, to facilitate cloud formation at low humidities and longer cloud lifetime. Sulfate may also result in changes in the particle size distribution, which can affect the clouds radiative properties in ways that are not fully understood. Chemical effects such as the dissolution of soluble gases and slightly soluble substances, surface tension depression by organic substances and accommodation coefficient changes are also included in the second indirect effect.
The indirect effects probably have a cooling effect, perhaps up to 2 W/m2, although the uncertainty is very large. Sulfates are therefore implicated in global dimming, which may have acted to offset some of the effects of global warming.
Other sulfur oxoanions
sulphate in Bosnian: Sulfat
sulphate in Catalan: Sulfat
sulphate in Czech: Sírany
sulphate in Danish: Sulfat
sulphate in German: Sulfate
sulphate in Estonian: Sulfaadid
sulphate in Spanish: Sulfato
sulphate in French: Sulfate
sulphate in Galician: Sulfato
sulphate in Italian: Solfato
sulphate in Hebrew: סולפט
sulphate in Latvian: Sulfāti
sulphate in Lithuanian: Sulfatai
sulphate in Hungarian: Szulfát
sulphate in Malay (macrolanguage): Sulfat
sulphate in Dutch: Sulfaat
sulphate in Japanese: 硫酸塩
sulphate in Norwegian: Sulfat
sulphate in Norwegian Nynorsk: Sulfat
sulphate in Polish: Siarczany
sulphate in Portuguese: Sulfato
sulphate in Slovak: Síran
sulphate in Serbian: Сулфат
sulphate in Finnish: Sulfaatti
sulphate in Swedish: Sulfat
sulphate in Ukrainian: Сульфати
sulphate in Chinese: 硫酸鹽