The thiosulphates are readily decomposed by mineral acids with liberation of sulphur dioxide and precipitation of sulphur: Na 2 S 2 0 3 + 2HC1 = 2NaC1 + S + SO 2 + H 2 O.
The metal is soluble in solutions of chlorine, bromine, thiosulphates and cyanides; and also in solutions which generate chlorine, such as mixtures of hydrochloric acid with nitric acid, chromic acid, antimonious acid, peroxides and nitrates, and of nitric acid with a chloride.
It oxidizes arsenites, sulphites and thiosulphates immediately.
The sulphides can be removed by " oxidizing " them into thiosulphates by means of atmospheric air, with or without the assistance of other agents, such as manganese peroxide; or by " carbonating " them with lime-kiln or other gases containing carbon dioxide; or by precipitating them with lead or zinc oxide.
The sulphur was by these converted partly into gaseous sulphuretted hydrogen, partly into soluble polysulphides, thiosulphates and other soluble compounds, and in all shapes caused a nuisance which became more and more intolerable as the number and size of alkali works increased.
The leading solvents are aqueous solutions of thiosulphates, unsystematically but generally termed hyposulphites.