Without sulphur, there would be no paint for Da Vinci's Mona Lisa, no steel for the Eiffel Tower and our milk, meat, grains, eggs and most other foods would lack the proteins which plants, animals and humans need to thrive. Sulphur is present wherever you look, from the food we eat to the medicine we take. With its benefits to society, such as improving crop production and the quality of food, modern and environmentally-sensitive construction materials, and its use as a soil amendment it is easy to see why TSI has labeled our recent campaign Sulphur — an advantaged element®.
Sulphur's applications are broad but TSI has identified several sectors in which the value of sulphur to society is most evident:
By 2050, increases in the global population and calorie consumption will double food demand. To achieve and sustain the level of food production needed to meet this growth, global agriculture will increase crop yield substantially. Many are familiar with the nutrients nitrogen (N), phosphorus (P) and potassium (K) but few are aware of the need and value of sulphur as an agricultural input. Judicious application in sulphur-deficient soils, is a cost effective way to produce more food and feed.
The Sulphur Institute has conducted field trials in India, where rice is a major food staple for over one billion people. Research demonstrates an opportunity to increase per capita supply by 20 percent through the addition of sulphur fertilization. In the North American Corn Belt, university research shows sulphur fertilization increases corn yields at least 11 percent.
Each year, urbanization, industrialization and the need for food production increases pressure on the earth's arable land mass. As the world's population continues to soar, we will add another 2.5 billion people in the next 40 years and more than 60% of the world's population will be living in big cities within the next 15 years. Sulphur can be used to reclaim marginal soils for productive cultivation and slow the loss of farmland.
Sulphur improves the plant root environment and maintains proper growing conditions in alkaline soils — from the western United States to Brazil, Asia and Africa. Sulphur improves the plant root environment and with a more favorable environment, crop growth, and thus food production, stand to increase significantly.
Concrete is the most common building material in the world and its use is equivalent to twice the volume of all other building materials combined. Concrete binder made with sulphur is an eco-efficient alternative to conventional Portland cement for paving stones, sidewalks and building foundations. Sulphur binder is produced with no water and less heat than Portland cement resulting in net energy savings, lover emissions of greenhouse gases, and a smaller environmental footprint overall. In road construction, sulphur technology can replace up to 30 percent of asphalt binder, a very energy intensive input in blacktop roads. Sulphur-enhanced roads and parking lots offer a longer life cycle.
In support of this campaign, TSI has made the Sulphur — an advantaged element® white paper and video available for download. The video is only available to TSI member companies and these items are only permitted for use in their original, unaltered, form. For more information on this and other TSI programs please contact Sarah Amirie. To learn more about becoming a member of The Sulphur Institute click here.
The Sulphur — an advantaged element® video requires Quicktime to play, click here for the free download.