Facts About Sulfur

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Sulfur is a byproduct of the refinement of fossil fuels into usable energy sources like gasoline. This refinement is a good thing for preventing sulfur compounds from heading skyward when the fuel is burned, causing acid rain, but leads to hills of elemental sulfur piling up in refineries. About 90 percent of this elemental sulfur goes to make sulfuric acid, says Dr. Jeff Pyun, a biochemist at the University of Arizona and BIO5 member. Dr. Pyun and his colleagues have found a way to turn waste sulfur into plastic, which in turn can be used in thermal imaging devices and lithium-sulfur batteries.