Chemistry

Difference Between Sulfate and Sulfite

ADVERTISEMENT
CONTINUE READING BELOW

Main Difference

The main difference between sulfate and sulfite is that sulfate formed of four oxygen atoms that are further bonded to a sulfur atom, whereas sulfite made up of three oxygen atoms that bonded to a sulfur atom.

Sulfate vs. Sulfite

Sulfate consider as an anion that made up of four oxygen atom bonded to a sulfur atom, while sulfite considers as an anion formed of oxygen atoms and a sulfur atom. 96 g/mole is the molar mass of sulfate, whereas 80 g/mole is the molar mass of sulfite. Various sulfates usually are soluble in water; on the other hand, many sulfites are usually insoluble in water.

ADVERTISEMENT
CONTINUE READING BELOW

The geometry of sulfates is tetrahedral around the sulfur atom; on the contrary, the geometry of sulfite is trigonal pyramidal around the sulfur atom. In sulfate, +6 considered as the oxidation state of sulfur; conversely, in sulfite, +4 usually is the oxidation state of sulfite. Sulfate normally cannot go through oxidation reactions during the reaction process; on the flip side, sulfite always goes through complete oxidation reactions in the reaction process.

Sulfate consists of one more oxygen atom in its structure; on the other hand, sulfite consists of one less oxygen atom in its whole structure. Sulfate usually has a positive charge on its sulfur atom; on the contrary, sulfite normally has a negative charge on its sulfur atom. The sulfur atom present in sulfate has one more sulfur than sulfur atom presents in sulfite.

ADVERTISEMENT

Sulfate drives to the third power of oxidation mean -3; on the flip side, sulfite drives to the second power of oxidation means have -2. The empirical formula of sulfate is SO2-4, while the empirical formula of sulfite is SO2-3. The acid derivatives, peroxides, and salts of sulfate are mostly used in industry, whereas sulfite is an indefinable acid and used in regulated food additives.

Sulfate consider as the salt of sulfuric acid and usually made from that sulfuric acid, which readily used in dish soap, in-floor cleaners, in body washes, and shampoos. In contrast, sulfite considers the naturally occurring substance that widely used in the human body and some varieties of food. Sulfate is not involved in the formation of wine, but some calcium sulfate can be used in beer production; on the contrary, sulfite is widely used in wine production because they perform as a preservative by stopping microbial growth.

ADVERTISEMENT

Comparison Chart

SulfateSulfite
Sulfate considered a compound that consists of an anion that made up of four oxygen atom bonded to a sulfur atom.Sulfite is a compound that consists of an anion and formed of oxygen atoms and a sulfur atom.
Molar Mass
96 g/mole80 g/mole
Solubility
Normally soluble in waterUsually insoluble in water.
Geometry
Tetrahedral around the sulfur atomTrigonal pyramidal around the sulfur atom
Oxidation State of Sulfur
+6 considered as the oxidation state of sulfur+4, normally the oxidation state of sulfite.
Oxidation Reactions
Cannot go through oxidation reactionsGo through complete oxidation reactions
More Oxygen Atoms
Consist of one more oxygen atomConsist of one less oxygen atom
Charge on Sulfur
has a positive charge on its sulfur atomHas a negative charge on its sulfur atom
More Sulfur Atom
Consist of one more sulfurConsist of one less sulfur
Power of Oxidation
Drives to the third power of oxidationDrives to the second power of oxidation
Empirical Formula
SO2-4SO2-3
Significance
The acid derivatives, peroxides, and salts mostly used in industryAn indefinable acid and used in regulated food additives
Artificial/Natural Occurring
Consider as the salt of sulfuric acid and usually made from that sulfuric acidConsider as the naturally occurring substance
Uses
Readily used in dish soap, in-floor cleaners, in body washes, and shampoosWidely used in the human body and some varieties of food
In Production of Wine
Not involved in the formation of wine but some calcium sulfate can be used in beer productionUsed in wine production because they perform as a preservative by stopping microbial growth

What is Sulfate?

The term sulfate described as the compound that consists of an anion made up of four oxygen atom bonded to a sulfur atom. The sulfate anion present in sulfate has -2 charge. The molecular/empirical formula of sulfate is generally SO4-2.

Sulfate anion considered as the conjugated base or salt of the sulfuric acid and usually made from that sulfuric acid. The anions and a proton (H+) of sulfate formed when sulfuric acid is broken down into its ions.

When bonds between sulfur and oxygen atoms deliberated, the two oxygen atoms of sulfate are bonded by double bonds with a sulfur atom, and single bonds with a sulfur atom bond the other two atoms of oxygen. The bonding is due to the sulfur atom that can make a maximum of six bonds around its structure. Hence, negative charges can be seen on single-bonded oxygen atoms.

In sulfate, +6 is considered as the oxidation state of sulfur, and the oxidation state of each oxygen atom is calculated as -2. When experimentally considered sulfur atom and an oxygen atom, because of the phenomenon of resonance, the bond lengths between the sulfur atom and oxygen atoms are the same.

The electrons which are present around sulfur atoms and oxygen atoms become delocalized because of the overlapping of orbitals. The exact bond length between oxygen and sulfur atoms is at 149pm. The examples of common sulfates are Baryte (BaSO4), Anglesite (PbSO4), Anhydrite (CaSO4), Gypsum (CaSO4.2H2O), and Epsomite (MgSO4.7H2O).

What is Sulfite?

The term sulfite described as a compound that consists of an anion and formed of oxygen atoms and a sulfur atom. Sulfur atom of sulfite consists of only one sulfur atom, which bonded to three oxygen atoms. The charge present on sulfite anion is -2.

Sulfite consists of three oxygen atoms, and in sulfite anion, one oxygen atom is bonded to sulfur atom through the double bond. The other two oxygen atoms are bonded through the single bonds with the sulfur atom. The bond lengths present around the oxygen and sulfur atoms are the same, and the value of bond length is also the same between sulfur and oxygen atoms because of resonance in structure.

Furthermore, a lone pair of electrons is present on a sulfur atom in sulfite anion. +4 is considered the oxidation state of sulfite, and -2 is the oxidation state of each oxygen atom present in sulfite anion. Sulfites are generally soluble in water, such as sulfites K+, NH+, and Na+.

The examples of common sulfite are Copper Sulfite (CuSO3), Zinc Sulfite (ZnSO3), Magnesium Sulfite (MgSO3), and Potassium Sulfite (K2SO3).

Key Differences

  1. An anion which made up of four oxygen atom is sulfate that is bonded to a sulfur atom, while an anion formed of oxygen atoms and a sulfur atom is known as sulfite.
  2. 96 g/mole is the molar mass of sulfate, whereas 80 g/mole is the molar mass of sulfite.
  3. Many sulfates are normally water-soluble; on the other hand, various sulfites are usually water-insoluble.
  4. The shape of sulfates is tetrahedral; on the contrary, the shape of sulfite is trigonal pyramidal.
  5. In sulfate, +6 is deliberated as the oxidation form of sulfur; conversely, in sulfite, +4 is normally the oxidation form of sulfite.
  6. During the reaction process, sulfate normally cannot undergo oxidation reactions; on the flip side, in the reaction process, sulfite always undergoes complete oxidation reactions.
  7. Sulfate, in its structure, contains one more oxygen atom; on the other hand, sulfite in its whole structure contains one smaller amount of oxygen atom.
  8. On sulfur atom of sulfate, it usually consists of a positive charge; on the contrary, on sulfur atom of sulfite, it normally has a negative charge.
  9. The sulfur atom present in sulfate has one more sulfur than sulfur atom presents in sulfite.
  10. Sulfate initiatives to the third power of oxidation; on the flip side, sulfite initiatives to the second power of oxidation.
  11. The empirical formula of sulfate is SO2-4, while the empirical formula of sulfite is SO2-3.
  12. The acid products, peroxides, and sulfate salts are much used in industry, whereas sulfite is an inexpressible acid and used in planned food flavors.
  13. Sulfate deliberate as the salt of sulfuric acid and normally produce from that sulfuric acid, during sulfite deliberate as the naturally happening substance.
  14. Sulfate mainly used in dish soap, in-floor cleaners, in body washes, and shampoos, while sulfite greatly used in the human body and some assortments of food.
  15. Some calcium sulfate can be used in beer production, but sulfate itself is not involved in the production of wine; on the contrary, sulfite is mainly used in wine formation because they implement as antibacterial by stopping microbial growth.

Conclusion

The above discussion concludes that the sulfate considered of four oxygen atoms that further bonded to a sulfur atom, and the structure of sulfates is tetrahedral, whereas sulfite made up of three oxygen atoms that are bonded to a sulfur atom and its composition is trigonal pyramidal.

Harlon Moss

Harlon currently works as a quality moderator and content writer for Difference Wiki. He graduated from the University of California in 2010 with a degree in Computer Science. Follow him on Twitter @HarlonMoss

Adblocker detected! Please consider reading this notice.

We've detected that you are using AdBlock Plus or some other adblocking software which is preventing the page from fully loading.

We don't have any banner, Flash, animation, obnoxious sound, or popup ad. We do not implement these annoying types of ads!

We need money to operate the site, and almost all of it comes from our online advertising.

Please add difference.wiki to your ad blocking whitelist or disable your adblocking software.

×