Sulphur: A yellow, non-metallic element (brimstone). found naturally around the world, especially in North America and in certain volcanic regions (eg: Sicily); obtained in the form of sulphides from pyrites ores; and capable of being produced artificially as a by-product of certain chemical processes as, for example, in the purifying of natural gases. Nearly always shipped in bulk in its various forms it can, unless kept dry, be most corrosive to steel cargo compartments and the cause of some horrific problems in this respect.
In certain cases, shippers will insist on limewashing (whitewashing) steel hold sides to prevent any corrosive reaction between the steel and sulphur, to the detriment of both, this protective coating being washed off by high-pressure water hose following discharge. Bulk formed sulphur is a general description for various types of processed products, of which slated refers to sulphur which has been formed in a sheet which is then broken into irregular lumps prior to loading. Prilled is a term for the end-product of a pelletized or ruggedised process.
Sulphur is environmentally objectionable if excessive dust is created during loading or cargo-handling. It ignites readily when it will emit a toxic gas, being classified as a dangerous cargo in the IMO Dangerous Goods Code; although small sulphur fires can be extinguished either by finely spraying with freshwater or by smothering the affected area with more sulphur. Bulk sulphur is also prone to dust explosion, which may occur during the cleaning of cargo holds the following discharge. Sweeping is, therefore, best avoided, and compartments washed down with fresh water and well ventilated during this operation.
- Sulphur Bulk Stowage Factor 30/32
- Sulphur Bagged Stowage Factor 35/37