2010 Till IFA Sulphur Agriculture
In nature, sulphur (S) occurs as inorganic and organic forms, ranging from reduced states such as hydrogen sulphide (H2S) gas through elemental sulphur (S0), to complex organic compounds and enzymes that contain S in various valency states. Elemental S is widely used in industry, mainly for sulphuric acid (H2SO4) production, with a significant proportion of the acid used in various phases of fertilizer production. In 2008, total S consumption was 74.1 million metric tonnes (Mt) of which 34.5 Mt were used to produce fertilizers (IFA, 2009).
The S-containing amino acids, methionine and cystine (Figure 1), are essential for production of proteins; without them and other S-containing materials, there would be no life as we know it. Higher animals cannot produce the essential amino acids and depend on predation, plants and/or the microflora and microfauna for their supply. Ruminants overcome this problem by having a symbiotic relationship with microorganisms in their gut….