Sulphur Trioxide - SO3

What is Sulphur Trioxide?

  • Sulphur trioxide is a chemical compound which is represented by the chemical formula SO3.
  • Sulphur trioxide exists in a number of modifications that differ in molecular species and crystalline form.
  • In its liquid form, it is colourless and fumes in the air at ambient conditions.
  • It is a highly reactive substance and a strong oxidising agent and it also acts as a fire hazard.
  • It is a thermodynamically unstable compound with respect to selenium dioxide.

Other names – Sulphuric anhydride

SO3 Sulphur Trioxide
Density 1.92 g/cm³
Molecular Weight/ Molar Mass 80.066 g/mol
Boiling Point 44.9 °C
Melting Point 16.9 °C
Chemical Formula SO3

Table of Contents

Sulphur Trioxide Structure – SO3


Sulfur Trioxide Structure

Physical Properties of Sulphur Trioxide – SO3

Odour No odour
Appearance Colourless to white crystalline solid
Covalently-Bonded Unit 1
Complexity 61.8
Hydrogen Bond Acceptor 3
Solubility Soluble in water.

Chemical Properties of Sulphur Trioxide – SO3

  • Sulphur trioxide reacts with water forming sulphuric acid. The chemical equation is given below.
    SO3 + H2O → H2SO4
  • Sulphur trioxide reacts with a base of sodium hydroxide and forms sodium hydrogen phosphate. The chemical equation is given below.
    SO3 + NaOH → NaHSO4

Uses of Sulphur Trioxide – SO3

        • Used as a bleaching agent to remove residual hydrogen peroxide, or as a digesting agent to separate pulp from lignin.
        • Used as a catalyst in the oxidation reaction of sulphur dioxide to sulphur trioxide.
        • It is a strong inorganic acid mist containing sulphuric acid used in industry or in the production of commercial products.
        • Used as an essential reagent in sulfonation reaction.
        • Used in the manufacture of photoelectric cells and solar energy devices.


Frequently Asked Questions – FAQs

How does sulphur trioxide react with water?

Sulphur trioxide reacts with water forming sulphuric acid.
SO3 + H2O → H2SO4

How does sulphur trioxide react with the base?

Sulphur trioxide reacts with a base of sodium hydroxide and forms sodium hydrogen sulphate.
SO3 + NaOH → NaHSO4

What are the uses of sulphur trioxide?

It is used as an essential reagent in sulfonation reactions. It is also used in the manufacture of photoelectric cells and solar energy devices.

How many double bonds and pi bonds are present in the sulphur trioxide?

The sulphur trioxide molecule has 3 double bonds and 3 pi bonds.

What is the hybridisation and geometry of sulphur trioxide?

The sulphur trioxide molecule is sp2 hybridised and has trigonal planar geometry.
Test Your Knowledge On Sulfur Trioxide!

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