Numerous salts, termed sulphites, are known.
The sulphites are prepared by the action of sulphur dioxide on the oxides, hydroxides or carbonates of the metals, or by processes of precipitation.
Rend., 1869, 69, p. 169) obtained the sodium salt by the action of zinc on a concentrated solution of sodium bisulphite: Zn + 4NaHSO 3 = Na 2 S 2 O 4 + ZnSO 3 + Na 2 SO 3 + 2H 2 O, the salt being separated from the sulphites formed by fractional precipitation.
Sulphur dioxide, recognized by its smell and acid reaction, results from the ignition of certain sulphites, sulphates, or a mixture of a sulphate with a sulphide.
On the isomeric potassium sodium sulphites see Sulphur.
Sulphuric acid is now added to the liquid, and any alkaline sulphides and sulphites present are decomposed, while iodides and bromides are converted into sulphates, and hydriodic and hydrobromic acids are liberated and remain dissolved in the solution.
It oxidizes arsenites, sulphites and thiosulphates immediately.
Selenosulphuric acid, H 2 SeS0 3, is only known in the form of its salts, which are usually obtained by the action of selenium on solutions of the metallic sulphites, a selenotrithionate being simultaneously produced.
- Sulphur itself has no action, but when brought into contact with the secretions it forms sulphides, sulphites and sulphuretted hydrogen, and thereby becomes more or less irritant and antiseptic. In the bowel its conversion into sulphides causes it to act as a mild laxative.