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An intermediate in the manufacture of sulfuric acid, Sulfur Dioxide is being converted to sulfur trioxide, and then to oleum which is prepared into sulfuric acid. For this purpose, sulfur dioxide is made when sulfur blends with oxygen. The act of converting sulfur dioxide to sulfuric acid is known as contact process. Several billion kg are manufactured for this purpose annually.
Owing to its antimicrobial attributes, sulfur dioxide is also used as a preservative for dried figs, dried apricots, and other such dried products. It is known as E220 when utilized in this way in Europe. As a preservative, it helps maintain the brilliant appearance of the fruit as well as prevents rotting. It is added to sulfured molasses as well.
The sulfur dioxide is a good reductant also. In the presence of water, it is able to decolorize the substances. As a result, it is a helpful reducing bleach for papers and other delicate materials like clothes etc. The effects of bleaching normally does not last really long. The atmospheric oxygen re-oxidizes the reduced dyes, regenerating the color. In treatment of municipal waste-water, prior to the release, sulfur dioxide is utilized to treat chlorinated waste-water. It reduces combined and free chlorine to chloride.
Possessing a high evaporation heat and being easily condensed, the sulfur dioxide is a candidate material for the refrigerants. Prior to chlorofluorocarbons development, sulfur dioxide was used as a refrigerating substance in home refrigerators. A versatile inert solvent, sulfur dioxide is used widely for dissolving extremely oxidizing salts. Also, it is used occasionally as a sulfonyl group source in organic synthesis.
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