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Page:Popular Science Monthly Volume 26.djvu/498

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THE POPULAR SCIENCE MONTHLY.

be eaten with leg of lamb, that roast goose required a corrective in the shape of apple, and that while a pre-established harmony existed between salmon and lobster, oysters were ordained beforehand by Nature as the proper accompaniment of boiled cod! Whenever I reflect upon such things, I become at once a good Positivist, and offer up praise in my own private chapel to the Spirit of Humanity which has slowly perfected these profound rules of good living.—Cornhill Magazine.

 

SULPHUR AND ITS EXTRACTION.
By C. G. WARNFORD LOCK.

THE following notes relate exclusively to native sulphur (brimstone). Though the amount of sulphur annually rained in the form of sulphides of various metals (e. g., iron and copper pyrites, galena, blende, etc.) probably far exceeds that obtained in the uncombined state, still, the separation of the sulphur in an inoxidized condition from such compounds is never attempted, for the simple reasons that, in the processes for extracting the several metals from their ores, the first step necessary is the elimination of the combined sulphur, which is most easily effected by a roasting or oxidizing operation, whereby the sulphur is at once converted into sulphurous acid, itself a valuable commodity, and, moreover, capable of being readily oxidized one step further to form sulphuric acid, the chief purpose for which sulphur is consumed.

There are two mines of sulphur worked in Austria-Hungary, one not far from Cracow, and the other at Radoboi in Croatia; both deposits are of considerable extent, but the annual yield is insignificant. The whole district around Mount Büdös, in Transylvania, is rich in sulphur. Some thirty or more diggings have been undertaken in a circuit of eighteen miles, but the area covered by the deposits is more than three times this size. The sulphur occurs in unequal strata one to nine inches thick, beneath one to three feet of mold. The soil is everywhere saturated with sulphur, and in this permeated earth pieces of the pure mineral are found. The whole is the result of living solfataric action, and the accumulation will continue to grow as long as that action survives. Samples of the impregnated earth, taken over an area of 16,000,000 square fathoms, yielded from forty-one to sixty-four per cent of sulphur. Allowing for interruptions in the deposits, and taking these at an average thickness of three inches instead of nine, the total sulphur output of the Austrian Empire, in 1863, was 1,754 tons, at an average rate of £12 15s. per ton. The imports are about five thousand tons per annum.

Large quantities of sulphur are found in and about the crater of