What Is The Colour Of Sulfur And Iron Filings?


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Samuel Chiltern Profile
Samuel Chiltern answered
Iron filings tend to be a silvery-grey colour (assuming of course that they haven't begun to rust, in which case they will be brown). Sulfur is yellow.

The Two Elements as a Mixture
If the sulfur and iron filings have simply been mixed together without any kind of chemical bonding taking place (i.e. Forming a mixture, rather than a compound), then the two will still be atomically-separate, and their distinct colours will make it easy to tell them apart.

It's easy to separate a mixture of these two elements by using a magnet to draw the iron filings out, leaving only sulfur behind. Since no chemical reaction was required to produce this substance, none is required to separate it either.

The Two Elements Combining to Form a Compound
If you heat a mixture of iron filings and sulfur, then then two elements will develop a chemical bond, thereby forming iron sulfide. You will then need to create another chemical reaction in order to separate the two.

It is commonly thought that this compound will no longer possess the magnetic properties of iron, however, it will be weakly magnetic when in small lumps. It will now be black in colour, with a crumbly texture.
Anonymous Profile
Anonymous answered
We can distinguish them because they are part of a heterogeneous mixture.

Iron is a silvery-white metal and sulfur is yellow.

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