Organosulfur compounds are organic compounds that contain sulfur. They are often associated with foul odors, but many of the sweetest compounds known are organosulfur derivatives, e.g., saccharin. Nature abounds with organosulfur compounds—sulfur is essential for life. Two of the 20 common amino acids are organosulfur compounds, and the antibiotics penicillin (pictured below) and sulfa drugs both contain sulfur. While sulfur-containing antibiotics save many lives, sulfur mustard is a deadly chemical warfare agent. Fossil fuels, coal, petroleum, and natural gas, which are derived from ancient organisms, necessarily contain organosulfur compounds, the removal of which is a major focus of oil refineries.
Sulfur shares the chalcogen group with oxygen, selenium and tellurium, and it is expected that organosulfur compounds have similarities with carbon-oxygen, carbon-selenium and carbon-tellurium compounds, which is true to some extent.
A classical chemical test for the detection of sulfur compounds is the Carius halogen method.
Famous quotes containing the word compounds:
“We can come up with a working definition of life, which is what we did for the Viking mission to Mars. We said we could think in terms of a large molecule made up of carbon compounds that can replicate, or make copies of itself, and metabolize food and energy. So thats the thought: macrocolecule, metabolism, replication.”
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