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Volcanic sulphur mining

Volcanic sulphur mining

E380/0570

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Credit

JEREMY BISHOP / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY JEREMY BISHOP / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY

Caption

Volcanic sulphur mining. Men mining solid sulphur (yellow) on the Kawah Ijen volcano in Java, Indonesia. Cast iron pipes conduct sulphur- rich gases from inside the volcano. Liquid sulphur condenses and gradually cools to solid sulphur. While working, the miners are exposed to sulphurous fumes, including the toxic hydrogen sulphide. They have little or no protection. Elemental sulphur is a component of the magma (molten rock) that issues from volcanoes as lava. Solid sulphur is mined for use in industry, primarily in producing sulphuric acid for further industrial uses. Photographed in 2002.

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