Aluminum sulfide, also called dialuminium trisulfide, is an ionic compound of aluminum and sulfur represented by the chemical formula Al2S3 <1, 2>. It exists in different crystalline forms and hydrolyzes to aluminum hydroxide/oxide <3, 4>.

Aluminum Sulfide Identification

CAS Number1302-81-4 <1, 2>
PubChem CID16684788 <6>
ChemSpider ID140154 <1>
EC Number215-109-0 <1, 2>

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Aluminum Sulfide Formula

How is Aluminum Sulfide Prepared

Its synthesis through direct heating of aluminum and sulfur can be represented by the following equation <7>:

2Al + 3S → Al2S3

However, the reaction is highly exothermic, and it is not desirable to heat the entire mixture <7>. Also, sulfur is a volatile reactant that melts away before the reaction takes place <7>. Therefore, lead sulfide is often used for the preparation of Al2S3 <7>:

2Al + 3PbS → Al2S3 + 3Pb


Aluminum Sulfide

Reactions with Other Compounds

Aluminum Sulfide and Water

When aluminum sulfide is exposed to moisture in the atmosphere, it undergoes hydrolysis reaction to form aluminum hydroxide and hydrogen sulfide <5>.

Al2S3 + 6H2O → 2Al(OH)3 + 3H2S

Aluminum Sulfide and Hydrochloric Acid

Aluminum sulfide upon reacting with hydrochloric acid forms hydrogen sulfide and aluminum chloride, as shown below <8>:

Al2S3 + 6HCl → 2AlCl3 + 3H2S


Aluminum Sulfide Lewis Structure

Properties and Characteristics of Aluminum Sulfide

General Properties

Molar Mass/Molecular Weight150.158 g/mol <1>

Physical Properties

Color and AppearanceGray powder or granules <2>
Melting Point1,100 °C, 2,012 °F <2>
Boiling Point1,500 °C, 2,732 °F <2>
Density2.32 g cm-3 <2>
State of matter at room temperature (solid/liquid/gas)Solid <2>
SolubilityInsoluble in (CH3)2CO (acetone) <9>
Solubility in WaterReacts and decomposes in H2O <9>
Heat Capacity (C) 105.1 J/mol K
Standard Molar Enthalpy-724 kJ/mol <9>
Standard Molar Entropy116.9 J/mol K

Atomic Properties

Crystal StructureTrigonal, tetragonal, hexagonal <3, 4>


Aluminum Sulfide Crystal Structure

What is It Used for

Producing organic compounds like ethanethiol and chemicals required for tanning and making paper <10>Preparing hydrogen sulfide that has several industrial uses <11>

Is Aluminum Sulfide Toxic

Exposure to aluminum sulfide can cause skin and severe eye irritation <12>. Inhalation of dust, vapor, or fumes can cause difficulty in breathing <12>.


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