Any old ion: a vital sulphide for minerals processing turns out to be fiction

Researchers at UWA and Murdoch U say free sulfide ion S2–    does not exist, which is a problem for alumina refiners as sulphide ions are of “immense commercial value” for processing and clean-up in the oil and gas industries. Peter May, D Batka and Glenn Hefter from Murdoch U and Darren Rowland from UWA used a spectrometer to search for the ion and found, well, it is nowhere to be found, which means that chemistry research 30 years back was “wrongly interpreted.”

“Our recommendation to researchers and teachers is to not accept the existence of sulfide ion in aqueous solution, as there is no evidence for its existence,” Dr Rowland says.

“To avoid conceptual and practical problems … S2−(aq) should be expunged from the chemical literature,” the authors write in Chemical Communications.



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