In this latter reaction the deep yellow solution obtained is exposed to air when the calcium polysulphide formed is gradually converted into thiosulphate by oxidation, and the calcium salt thus formed is converted into the sodium salt by sodium carbonate or sulphate.
The addition of more acid would produce an additional supply of sulphur (by the action of the H2S203 on the dissolved H 2 S); but this thiosulphate sulphur is yellow and compact, while the polysulphide part has the desired qualities, forming an extremely fine, almost white, powder.
The use of sodium hyposulphite as solvent, and sodium sulphide as precipitant, was proposed in 1846 by Hauch and in 1850 by Percy, and put into practice in 1858 by Patera (Patera process); calcium hyposulphite with calcium polysulphide was first used by Kiss in 1860 (Kiss process, now obsolete); sodium hyposulphite with calcium polysulphide was adopted about 1880 by 0.
Milk of sulphur (see above), obtained by decomposing a polysulphide with an acid, contains both forms. The insoluble variety may also be obtained by decomposing sulphur chloride with water and by other reactions.