Sodium sulfide

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Yellow, hygroscopic lumps. Sodium sulfide is used as a depilatory in dehairing hides and pulling wool. It is also used in the manufacture of rubber, dyes, and paper pulp. Sodium sulfide is used to blacken metals and as a toner for black and white photographs. It is also used in engraving and lithographic printing.

Synonyms and Related Terms

sodium monosulfide; sodium sulfuret

Other Properties

Soluble in water slowly forming sodium thiosulfate and sodium hydroxide. Slightly soluble in ethanol. Insoluble in ether.

Composition Na2S
CAS 16721-80-5
Melting Point 1180
Density 1.856
Molecular Weight mol. wt. = 240.18

Hazards and Safety

Flammable. Fire and explosion risk with percussion or heat.

Toxic by ingestion. Corrosive. Skin contact causes irritation and burns.

Reacts with acids to evolve toxic hydrogen sulfide fumes.

Mallinckrodt Baker: MSDS

Sources Checked for Data in Record

  • G.S.Brady, Materials Handbook, McGraw-Hill Book Co., New York, 1971 Comment: p. 786
  • Richard S. Lewis, Hawley's Condensed Chemical Dictionary, Van Nostrand Reinhold, New York, 10th ed., 1993
  • Michael McCann, Artist Beware, Watson-Guptill Publications, New York City, 1979
  • Matt Roberts, Don Etherington, Bookbinding and the Conservation of Books: a Dictionary of Descriptive Terminology, U.S. Government Printing Office, Washington DC, 1982
  • E.J.LaBarre, Dictionary and Encyclopedia of Paper and Paper-making, Swets & Zeitlinger, Amsterdam, 1969
  • Van Nostrand's Scientific Encyclopedia, Douglas M. Considine (ed.), Van Nostrand Reinhold, New York, 1976
  • Random House, Webster's Encyclopedic Unabridged Dictionary of the English Language, Grammercy Book, New York, 1997
  • The Merck Index, Martha Windholz (ed.), Merck Research Labs, Rahway NJ, 10th edition, 1983 Comment: entry 8830
  • The American Heritage Dictionary or Encarta, via Microsoft Bookshelf 98, Microsoft Corp., 1998
  • Website address 1 Comment: photographic chemicals at