The sulfur cycle is one of many biochemical processes. In this process a chemical element or compound moves through the biotic and abiotic compartments of the Earth. This changes its chemical form along the way. Sulfur also moves between the biosphere, atmosphere, hydrosphere and lithosphere just like carbon and nitrogen.
Phosphorus and sulfur cycles are of particular interest because they are integral to the cycle of life. Sulfur, which is present in the amino acids cysteine and methionine as well as the vitamin thiamine, is a vital part of all organic material. Our nature has everything figured out for its all parts.
Plants acquire their supply from micro-organisms in the soil and water, which convert it into usable organic forms. Animals acquire sulfur by consuming plants and one another. Both plants and animals release sulfur back into the ground and water as they die and are themselves broken down by micro-organisms.
Cycle in work
Our explanation of the cycle is very very simple and basic. This part of the cycle can form its own loop in both terrestrial and aquatic environments, as sulfur is consumed by plants and animals and then released again through decomposition. But this isn’t the only iron that sulfur has in the fire.
Elemental sulfur is found around volcanoes and geothermal vents, and when volcanoes erupt, massive quantities of sulfur, mostly in the form of sulfur dioxide, can be propelled into the atmosphere. Weathering of rocks and the production of volatile sulfur compounds in the ocean can also both lead to the release of sulfur.
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Increasingly, atmospheric sulfur is a result of human activity, such as the burning of fossil fuels. Once in the air, sulfur dioxide reacts with oxygen and water to form sulfate salts and sulfuric acid. These compounds dissolve well in water and may return to Earth’s surface via both wet and dry deposition. There are also vast reservoirs in the planet’s crust as well as in oceanic sediments.
Along the cycle, sulfur moves through various forms and states. There is mineralization, oxidation and reduction. It is a very important element in living being’s life. Sulfur is a very important element and it is found in many life forms. This nature is both delicate and intricate. We must know its importance and should be aware of the cycle and try to have as less impact as possible.