Page:Popular Science Monthly Volume 26.djvu/499

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483
SULPHUR AND ITS EXTRACTION.

Gunong Api, in the Banda Islands, and attempts have been made to collect it for exportation. It is said, however, that the labor of ascending the mountain is too great to render the speculation profitable.

Sulphur is one of the most important products of Formosa. When taken from the mine, the ore is boiled in iron pans till it assumes a treacly consistence. This is constantly stirred till every impurity is separated from the sulphur, which is then ladled out into wooden tubs, shaped like sugar-loaves. In these it is left to cool, and the conical cakes are freed from the tubs by the simple process of knocking out the bottoms of the latter.

Sulphur is procurable in salable quantities from the mountains around Ta-chien-la, in Western China; the inhabitants of the ravines may often be seen engaged in the manufacture of matches of the Guy Fawkes pattern, which they split from a pine plank with a spokeshave, and tip with sulphur. During his penniless residence at Na-erh-pa, Baber generally used these sulphur chips to procure a flame.

Near the hamlet of Tappets, about three miles northeast of Apt, in the department of Vaucluse, France, is a bed of sulphur-ore yielding about twenty to twenty-five per cent. It consists of a sulphur impregnated, marly limestone, and accompanies the lignite-beds of the tertiary system. The deposit is neither very extensive nor very thick.

The sulphur-deposits of Krisuvik, in the south of Iceland, belong to the recent solfataric group, and, though often compared with the Sicilian mines, bear very little analogy to them. The sulphur occurs in a fine state, intimately associated with earthy impurities, as a superficial layer of no great depth, but having recuperative powers that render them practically inexhaustible. They are now the property of an English company, and give promise of being worked to advantage in the future.

The sulphur-deposits of India, according to Professor V. Ball,[1] are unimportant, and inconveniently situated. Near a village called Sura-Sany-Yanam, between the mouths of the Godaveri, in Madras, small heaps of sulphur are occasionally collected in the dried-up margin of a tidal swamp, where the mineral appears to result from deoxidation of gypsum by contact with organic matter. Another trifling deposit is reported to occur at Ghizri Bandar, near Karachi. A considerable mine, worked by adits and chambers, exists at Sunnee in Cutchi, Beloochistan, and affords the chief supply for Candahar. Sulphur is obtained in some abundance from near a hot spring called Pir Zinda, in the Soree Pass of the Suleiman Hills, Afghanistan. A "vast quantity" of sulphur is said to occur at Hazara, North Afghanistan. On the southern flanks of the Gunjully Hills, in the Kohat district of the Punjaub, a large amount of sulphur is constantly being deposited as a result of the decomposition of pyritiferous alum-shales. As much

  1. "Economic Geology of India."