Chem Explorers

Sulfuryl Fluoride: A Versatile Chemical with Potentially Deadly Consequences

Sulfuryl Fluoride: A Closer Look at its


Preparation, Properties, Uses, and

DangersWhen it comes to chemicals used in various industries, sulfuryl fluoride remains a commonly used and highly effective one. This colorless gas, with a pungent odor, has been widely used as a fumigant insecticide for almost 60 years now.

Additionally, it is also used for organic synthesis and as a pesticide, with its applications expanding even further. In this article, we will delve into the key areas of sulfuryl fluoride, including its identification, preparation, properties, uses, and dangers.


CAS Number: 2699-79-8

PubChem CID: 24606

ChemSpider ID: 23080

EC Number: 220-464-8

These are some of the primary keywords to identify sulfuryl fluoride. The CAS or Chemical Abstracts Service Number is a unique identifier for chemical substances.

PubChem is an open chemical database maintained by the National Institutes of Health’s National Library of Medicine. ChemSpider is a database that provides information on chemical structures, properties, and spectra.

Finally, the EC or European Community number is a unique seven-digit identification number.


Sulfuryl fluoride can be prepared by reacting chlorine with sulfur dioxide in the presence of a catalyst such as activated carbon or alumina. The following reaction takes place:

SO2 + Cl2 –> SO2Cl2

SO2Cl2 + HF –> SO2F2 + HCl

The sulfur dioxide chloride is then reacted with hydrofluoric acid to produce sulfuryl fluoride and hydrogen chloride.

Activated charcoal serves as a catalyst in the reaction, which occurs at high temperatures.


General Properties

The molar mass of sulfuryl fluoride is 102.06 g/mol. It is a colorless gas at room temperature and has a boiling point of -55.3C and a melting point of -135.8C.

It is also denser than air and has a density of 1.59 g/cm3.

Chemical Properties

Sulfuryl fluoride is soluble in some organic solvents but not in water. The gas is stable in anhydrous conditions but can decompose in the presence of water.

Additionally, sulfuryl fluoride is acidic with a pH of 4.6.


Fumigant Insecticide

Sulfuryl fluoride is widely used as a gaseous fumigant insecticide to control pests in agricultural and food processing applications. This chemical has been approved for use to control drywood termites, bedbugs, and other wood-infesting pests.

Organic Synthesis

Sulfuryl fluoride is also used in organic synthesis, in the production of agrochemicals, pharmaceuticals, and other chemicals.


This chemical is also used as a pesticide that controls pests and fungal spores in grain storages and agricultural processing facilities, where the chemicals are not expected to come into contact with humans.


Inhalation of sulfuryl fluoride can cause respiratory tract irritation, lung edema, central nervous system depression, respiratory failure, and convulsions. It can be extremely dangerous if inhaled for a prolonged period as it can lead to ventilation failure and death.

Additionally, skin contact with sulfuryl fluoride can cause severe burns and eye contact can cause serious eye damage. Therefore, when using this chemical, protective clothing like rubber boots, gloves, goggles, and respiratory protection are necessary.


In conclusion, sulfuryl fluoride is a versatile chemical used in various industries ranging from agriculture to pharmaceuticals. Its unique properties make it a highly effective fumigant insecticide, and it’s also used in organic synthesis and as a pesticide.

However, it’s essential to understand the dangers associated with this chemical, which includes respiratory tract irritation, lung edema, and even death. Therefore, any handling or application of sulfuryl fluoride should be handled with care, protective clothing, and respiratory protection.

Sulfuryl fluoride, a versatile and effective chemical, is widely used as a fumigant insecticide, in organic synthesis, and as a pesticide in various applications. However, it is essential to understand the potential dangers associated with it, including respiratory tract irritation, lung edema, and skin and eye damage.

Important keywords include its identification, preparation, properties, uses, and dangers, while protective clothing and respiratory protection are necessary when handling this gas. FAQs: What is sulfuryl fluoride used for?

– Sulfuryl fluoride is used as a fumigant insecticide, in organic synthesis, and as a pesticide. Is sulfuryl fluoride safe to use?

– No, it is dangerous if inhaled, causing respiratory tract irritation and lung edema, and if handled without protective clothing, causing skin and eye damage. What precautions should be taken when using sulfuryl fluoride?

– Protective clothing, including rubber boots, gloves, goggles, and respiratory protection, should be worn when handling or applying it.

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