The sulfate or sulphate (see spelling differences) ion is a polyatomic anion with the empirical formula SO2−
. Sulfate is the spelling recommended by IUPAC, but sulphate is used in British English. Salts, acid derivatives, and peroxides of sulfate are widely used in industry. Sulfates occur widely in everyday life. Sulfates are salts of sulfuric acid and many are prepared from that acid.

The structure and bonding of the sulfate ion
Ball-and-stick model of the sulfate anion
IUPAC name
3D model (JSmol)
ECHA InfoCard 100.108.048
EC Number 233-334-2
Molar mass 96.06 g·mol−1
Conjugate acid Hydrogen sulfate
Except where otherwise noted, data are given for materials in their standard state (at 25 °C [77 °F], 100 kPa).


The sulfate anion consists of a central sulfur atom surrounded by four equivalent oxygen atoms in a tetrahedral arrangement. The symmetry is the same as that of methane. The sulfur atom is in the +6 oxidation state while the four oxygen atoms are each in the −2 state. The sulfate ion carries an overall charge of −2 and it is the conjugate base of the bisulfate (or hydrogen sulfate) ion, HSO
, which is in turn the conjugate base of H
, sulfuric acid. Organic sulfate esters, such as dimethyl sulfate, are covalent compounds and esters of sulfuric acid. The tetrahedral molecular geometry of the sulfate ion is as predicted by VSEPR theory.


Sulfate covalent-ionic
Two models of the sulfate ion.
1 with polar covalent bonds only; 2 with an ionic bond
Six resonances

The first description of the bonding in modern terms was by Gilbert Lewis in his groundbreaking paper of 1916 where he described the bonding in terms of electron octets around each atom, that is no double bonds and a formal charge of +2 on the sulfur atom.[1][a]

Later, Linus Pauling used valence bond theory to propose that the most significant resonance canonicals had two pi bonds involving d orbitals. His reasoning was that the charge on sulfur was thus reduced, in accordance with his principle of electroneutrality.[2] The S−O bond length of 149 pm is shorter than the bond lengths in sulfuric acid of 157 pm for S−OH. The double bonding was taken by Pauling to account for the shortness of the S−O bond. Pauling's use of d orbitals provoked a debate on the relative importance of π bonding and bond polarity (electrostatic attraction) in causing the shortening of the S−O bond. The outcome was a broad consensus that d orbitals play a role, but are not as significant as Pauling had believed.[3][4]

A widely accepted description involving pπ – dπ bonding was initially proposed by D. W. J. Cruickshank. In this model, fully occupied p orbitals on oxygen overlap with empty sulfur d orbitals (principally the dz2 and dx2y2).[5] However, in this description, despite there being some π character to the S−O bonds, the bond has significant ionic character. For sulfuric acid, computational analysis (with natural bond orbitals) confirms a clear positive charge on sulfur (theoretically +2.45) and a low 3d occupancy. Therefore, the representation with four single bonds is the optimal Lewis structure rather than the one with two double bonds (thus the Lewis model, not the Pauling model).[6] In this model, the structure obeys the octet rule and the charge distribution is in agreement with the electronegativity of the atoms. The discrepancy between the S−O bond length in the sulfate ion and the S−OH bond length in sulfuric acid is explained by donation of p-orbital electrons from the terminal S=O bonds in sulfuric acid into the antibonding S−OH orbitals, weakening them resulting in the longer bond length of the latter.

However, the bonding representation of Pauling for sulfate and other main group compounds with oxygen is still a common way of representing the bonding in many textbooks.[5][7] The apparent contradiction can be cleared if one realizes that the covalent double bonds in the Lewis structure in reality represent bonds that are strongly polarized by more than 90% towards the oxygen atom. On the other hand, in the structure with an dipolar bond, the charge is localized as a lone pair on the oxygen.[6]


Methods of preparing metal sulfates include:[7]

  • treating metal, metal hydroxide or metal oxide with sulfuric acid
Zn + H2SO4 → ZnSO4 + H2
Cu(OH)2 + H2SO4 → CuSO4 + 2 H2O
CdCO3 + H2SO4 → CdSO4 + H2O + CO2


Many examples of ionic sulfates are known, and many of these are highly soluble in water. Exceptions include calcium sulfate, strontium sulfate, lead(II) sulfate, and barium sulfate, which are poorly soluble. Radium sulfate is the most insoluble sulfate known. The barium derivative is useful in the gravimetric analysis of sulfate: if one adds a solution of, perhaps, barium chloride to a solution containing sulfate ions, the appearance of a white precipitate, which is barium sulfate, indicates that sulfate anions are present.

The sulfate ion can act as a ligand attaching either by one oxygen (monodentate) or by two oxygens as either a chelate or a bridge.[7] An example is the complex [Co(en)2(SO4)]+Br[7] or the neutral metal complex PtSO4(P(C6H5)3)2 where the sulfate ion is acting as a bidentate ligand. The metal–oxygen bonds in sulfate complexes can have significant covalent character.

Uses and occurrence

Commercial applications

Objectes de la Sala Horta i Marjal (27190138015)
Knapsack sprayer used to apply sulfate to vegetables. Valencian Museum of Ethnology.

Sulfates are widely used industrially. Major compounds include:

Occurrence in nature

Sulfate-reducing bacteria, some anaerobic microorganisms, such as those living in sediment or near deep sea thermal vents, use the reduction of sulfates coupled with the oxidation of organic compounds or hydrogen as an energy source for chemosynthesis.


Some sulfates were known to alchemists. The vitriol salts, from the Latin vitreolum, glassy, were so-called because they were some of the first transparent crystals known.[8] Green vitriol is iron(II) sulfate heptahydrate, FeSO4·7H2O; blue vitriol is copper(II) sulfate pentahydrate, CuSO4·5H2O and white vitriol is zinc sulfate heptahydrate, ZnSO4·7H2O. Alum, a double sulfate of potassium and aluminium with the formula K2Al2(SO4)4·24H2O, figured in the development of the chemical industry.

Environmental effects

Sulfates occur as microscopic particles (aerosols) resulting from fossil fuel and biomass combustion. They increase the acidity of the atmosphere and form acid rain. The anaerobic sulfate-reducing bacteria Desulfovibrio desulfuricans and D. vulgaris can remove the black sulfate crust that often tarnishes buildings.[9]

Main effects on climate

Gocart sulfate optical thickness
Sulfate aerosol optical thickness 2005 to 2007 average

The main direct effect of sulfates on the climate involves the scattering of light, effectively increasing the Earth's albedo. This effect is moderately well understood and leads to a cooling from the negative radiative forcing of about 0.4 W/m2 relative to pre-industrial values,[10] partially offsetting the larger (about 2.4 W/m2) warming effect of greenhouse gases. The effect is strongly spatially non-uniform, being largest downstream of large industrial areas.[11]

The first indirect effect is also known as the Twomey effect. Sulfate aerosols can act as cloud condensation nuclei and this leads to greater numbers of smaller droplets of water. Lots of smaller droplets can diffuse light more efficiently than just a few larger droplets. The second indirect effect is the further knock-on effects of having more cloud condensation nuclei. It is proposed that these include the suppression of drizzle, increased cloud height,[12] to facilitate cloud formation at low humidities and longer cloud lifetime.[13] Sulfate may also result in changes in the particle size distribution, which can affect the clouds radiative properties in ways that are not fully understood. Chemical effects such as the dissolution of soluble gases and slightly soluble substances, surface tension depression by organic substances and accommodation coefficient changes are also included in the second indirect effect.[14]

The indirect effects probably have a cooling effect, perhaps up to 2 W/m2, although the uncertainty is very large.[15] Sulfates are therefore implicated in global dimming. Sulfate is also the major contributor to stratospheric aerosol formed by oxidation of sulfur dioxide injected into the stratosphere by impulsive volcanoes such as the 1991 eruption of Mount Pinatubo in the Philippines. This aerosol exerts a cooling effect on climate during its 1-2 year lifetime in the stratosphere.

Hydrogen sulfate (bisulfate)

Hydrogen sulfate (bisulfate)
IUPAC name
Hydrogen sulfate
Other names
3D model (JSmol)
ECHA InfoCard 100.108.048
Molar mass 97.071 g/mol
Melting point 270.47 °C (518.85 °F; 543.62 K)
Boiling point 623.89 °C (1,155.00 °F; 897.04 K)
Vapor pressure 0.00791 Pa (5.93E-005 mm Hg)
Conjugate acid Sulfuric acid
Conjugate base Sulfate
Except where otherwise noted, data are given for materials in their standard state (at 25 °C [77 °F], 100 kPa).

The conjugate base of sulfuric acid (H2SO4)—a dense, colourless, oily, corrosive liquid—is the hydrogen sulfate ion (HSO
), also called the bisulfate ion.[b] Sulfuric acid is classified as a strong acid; in aqueous solutions it ionizes completely to form hydronium ions (H3O+) and hydrogen sulfate (HSO
). In other words, the sulfuric acid behaves as a Brønsted–Lowry acid and is deprotonated. Bisulfate has a molar mass of 97.078 g/mol. It has a valency of 1. An example of a salt containing the HSO
group is sodium bisulfate, NaHSO4. In dilute solutions the hydrogen sulfate ions also dissociate, forming more hydronium ions and sulfate ions (SO2−
). The CAS registry number for hydrogen sulfate is 14996-02-2.

Other sulfur oxyanions

Sulfur oxyanions
Molecular formula Name


  1. ^ Lewis assigned to sulfur a negative charge of two, starting from six own valence electrons and ending up with eight electrons shared with the oxygen atoms. In fact, sulfur donates two electrons to the oxygen atoms.
  2. ^ The prefix "bi" in "bisulfate" comes from an outdated naming system and is based on the observation that there is twice as much sulfate (SO2−
    ) in sodium bisulfate (NaHSO4) and other bisulfates as in sodium sulfate (Na2SO4) and other sulfates. See also bicarbonate.

See also

H2SO4 He
Li2SO4 BeSO4 B esters
MgSO4 Al2(SO4)3
Si P SO42−
Cl Ar
CaSO4 Sc2(SO4)3 TiOSO4 VSO4
ZnSO4 Ga2(SO4)3 Ge As Se Br Kr
SrSO4 Y2(SO4)3 Zr(SO4)2 Nb Mo Tc Ru Rh PdSO4 Ag2SO4 CdSO4 In2(SO4)3 SnSO4 Sb2(SO4)3 Te I Xe
BaSO4   Hf Ta W Re Os Ir Pt Au Hg2SO4
PbSO4 Bi2(SO4)3 Po At Rn
Fr Ra   Rf Db Sg Bh Hs Mt Ds Rg Cn Nh Fl Mc Lv Ts Og
La Ce2(SO4)3
Pr2(SO4)3 Nd Pm Sm Eu Gd Tb Dy Ho Er Tm Yb2(SO4)3 Lu
Ac Th Pa U(SO4)2
Np Pu Am Cm Bk Cf Es Fm Md No Lr


  1. ^ Lewis, Gilbert N. (1916). "The Atom and the Molecule". J. Am. Chem. Soc. 38: 762–785. doi:10.1021/ja02261a002. (See page 778.)
  2. ^ Pauling, Linus (1948). "The modern theory of valency". J. Chem. Soc.: 1461–1467. doi:10.1039/JR9480001461.
  3. ^ Coulson, C. A. (1969). "d Electrons and Molecular Bonding". Nature. 221: 1106. Bibcode:1969Natur.221.1106C. doi:10.1038/2211106a0.
  4. ^ Mitchell, K. A. R. (1969). "Use of outer d orbitals in bonding". Chem. Rev. 69: 157. doi:10.1021/cr60258a001.
  5. ^ a b Cotton, F. Albert; Wilkinson, Geoffrey (1966). Advanced Inorganic Chemistry (2nd ed.). New York, NY: Wiley.
  6. ^ a b Stefan, Thorsten; Janoschek, Rudolf (Feb 2000). "How relevant are S=O and P=O Double Bonds for the Description of the Acid Molecules H2SO3, H2SO4, and H3PO4, respectively?". J. Mol. Modeling. 6 (2): 282–288. doi:10.1007/PL00010730.
  7. ^ a b c d Greenwood, Norman N.; Earnshaw, Alan (1997). Chemistry of the Elements (2nd ed.). Butterworth-Heinemann. ISBN 0-08-037941-9.
  8. ^ Taylor, F. Sherwood (1942). Inorganic and Theoretical Chemistry (6th ed.). William Heinemann.
  9. ^ Andrea Rinaldi (Nov 2006). "Saving a fragile legacy. Biotechnology and microbiology are increasingly used to preserve and restore the worlds cultural heritage". EMBO Reports. 7 (11): 1075–1079. doi:10.1038/sj.embor.7400844. PMC 1679785. PMID 17077862.
  10. ^ Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (2007). "Chapter 2: Changes in Atmospheric Constituents and Radiative Forcing". Working Group I: The Scientific Basis.
  11. ^ Sulfate distribution in the atmosphere (Map).
  12. ^ Pincus & Baker 1994
  13. ^ Albrecht 1989
  14. ^ Rissman, T. A.; Nenes, A.; Seinfeld, J. H. "Chemical Amplification (or dampening) of the Twomey Effect: Conditions derived from droplet activation theory" (PDF).
  15. ^ Archer, David. Understanding the Forecast. p. 77. Figure 10.2

17α-Dihydroequilin, or α-dihydroequilin, also known as 7-dehydro-17α-estradiol, as well as estra-1,3,5(10),7-tetraene-3,17α-diol, is a naturally occurring steroidal estrogen found in horses which is closely related to equilin, equilenin, and 17α-estradiol. The compound, as the 3-sulfate ester sodium salt, is present in conjugated estrogens (Premarin), a pharmaceutical extract of the urine of pregnant mares, and is the third highest quantity constituent in the formulation (13.8%).


8,9-Dehydroestrone, or Δ8-estrone, also known as estra-1,3,5(10),8-tetraen-3-ol-17-one, is a naturally occurring estrogen found in horses which is closely related to equilin, equilenin, and estrone, and, as the 3-sulfate ester sodium salt, is a minor constituent (3.5%) of conjugated estrogens (Premarin). It produces 8,9-dehydro-17β-estradiol as an important active metabolite, analogously to conversion of estrone or estrone sulfate into estradiol. The compound was first described in 1997. In addition to 8,9-dehydroestrone and 8,9-dehydro-17β-estradiol, 8,9-dehydro-17α-estradiol is likely also to be present in conjugated estrogens, but has not been identified at this time.


Adderall, Adderall XR (Extended Release), and Mydayis are combination drugs containing four salts of the two enantiomers of amphetamine, a central nervous system (CNS) stimulant of the phenethylamine class. Adderall is used in the treatment of attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) and narcolepsy. It is also used as an athletic performance enhancer and cognitive enhancer, and recreationally as an aphrodisiac and euphoriant. By salt content, the active ingredients are 25% levoamphetamine salts (the levorotatory or 'left-handed' enantiomer) and 75% dextroamphetamine salts (the dextrorotatory or 'right-handed' enantiomer).Adderall is generally well-tolerated and effective in treating the symptoms of ADHD and narcolepsy. At therapeutic doses, Adderall causes emotional and cognitive effects such as euphoria, change in desire for sex, increased wakefulness, and improved cognitive control. At these doses, it induces physical effects such as a faster reaction time, fatigue resistance, and increased muscle strength. In contrast, much larger doses of Adderall can impair cognitive control, cause rapid muscle breakdown, or induce a psychosis (e.g., delusions and paranoia). The side effects of Adderall vary widely among individuals, but most commonly include insomnia, dry mouth, and loss of appetite. The risk of developing an addiction is insignificant when Adderall is used as prescribed at fairly low daily doses, such as those used for treating ADHD; however, the routine use of Adderall in larger daily doses poses a significant risk of addiction due to the pronounced reinforcing effects that are present at higher doses. Recreational doses of Adderall are generally much larger than prescribed therapeutic doses, and carry a far greater risk of serious adverse effects.The two amphetamine enantiomers that compose Adderall (i.e., levoamphetamine and dextroamphetamine) alleviate the symptoms of ADHD and narcolepsy by increasing the activity of the neurotransmitters norepinephrine and dopamine in the brain, which results in part from their interactions with human trace amine-associated receptor 1 (hTAAR1) and vesicular monoamine transporter 2 (VMAT2) in neurons. Dextroamphetamine is a more potent CNS stimulant than levoamphetamine, but levoamphetamine has slightly stronger cardiovascular and peripheral effects and a longer elimination half-life (i.e., it remains in the body longer) than dextroamphetamine. The levoamphetamine component of Adderall has been reported to improve the treatment response in some individuals relative to dextroamphetamine alone. Adderall's active ingredient, amphetamine, shares many chemical and pharmacological properties with the human trace amines, particularly phenethylamine and N-methylphenethylamine, the latter of which is a positional isomer of amphetamine.


An alum () is a type of chemical compound, usually a hydrated double sulfate salt of aluminium with the general formula XAl(SO4)2·12H2O, where X is a monovalent cation such as potassium or ammonium. By itself, "alum" often refers to potassium alum, with the formula KAl(SO4)2·12H2O. Other alums are named after the monovalent ion, such as sodium alum and ammonium alum.

The name "alum" is also used, more generally, for salts with the same formula and structure, except that aluminium is replaced by another trivalent metal ion like chromium(III), and/or sulfur is replaced by other chalcogen like selenium. The most common of these analogs is chrome alum KCr(SO4)2·12H2O.

In some industries, the name "alum" (or "papermaker's alum") is used to refer to aluminium sulfate Al2(SO4)3·nH2O. Most industrial flocculation done with "alum" actually uses aluminium sulfate. In medicine, "alum" may also refer to aluminium hydroxide gel used as a vaccine adjuvant.

Calcium sulfate

Calcium sulfate (or calcium sulphate) is the inorganic compound with the formula CaSO4 and related hydrates. In the form of γ-anhydrite (the anhydrous form), it is used as a desiccant. One particular hydrate is better known as plaster of Paris, and another occurs naturally as the mineral gypsum. It has many uses in industry. All forms are white solids that are poorly soluble in water. Calcium sulfate causes permanent hardness in water.

Chondroitin sulfate

Chondroitin sulfate is a sulfated glycosaminoglycan (GAG) composed of a chain of alternating sugars (N-acetylgalactosamine and glucuronic acid). It is usually found attached to proteins as part of a proteoglycan. A chondroitin chain can have over 100 individual sugars, each of which can be sulfated in variable positions and quantities. Chondroitin sulfate is an important structural component of cartilage and provides much of its resistance to compression. Along with glucosamine, chondroitin sulfate has become a widely used dietary supplement for treatment of osteoarthritis.

Copper(II) sulfate

Copper(II) sulfate, also known as copper sulphate, are the inorganic compounds with the chemical formula CuSO4(H2O)x, where x can range from 0 to 5. The pentahydrate (x = 5) is the most common form. Older names for this compound include blue vitriol, bluestone, vitriol of copper, and Roman vitriol.The pentahydrate (CuSO4·5H2O), the most commonly encountered salt, is bright blue. It exothermically dissolves in water to give the aquo complex [Cu(H2O)6]2+, which has octahedral molecular geometry. The structure of the solid pentahydrate reveals a polymeric structure wherein copper is again octahedral but bound to four water ligands. The Cu(II)(H2O)4 centers are interconnected by sulfate anions to form chains. Anhydrous copper sulfate is a white powder.

Dehydroepiandrosterone sulfate

Dehydroepiandrosterone sulfate, abbreviated as DHEA sulfate or DHEA-S, also known as androstenolone sulfate, is an endogenous androstane steroid that is produced by the adrenal cortex. It is the 3β-sulfate ester and a metabolite of dehydroepiandrosterone (DHEA) that circulates in far greater relative concentrations. The steroid is hormonally inert and is instead an important neurosteroid and neurotrophin.


Glucosamine (C6H13NO5) is an amino sugar and a prominent precursor in the biochemical synthesis of glycosylated proteins and lipids. Glucosamine is part of the structure of the polysaccharides, chitosan, and chitin. Glucosamine is one of the most abundant monosaccharides. It is produced commercially by the hydrolysis of crustacean exoskeletons or, less commonly, by fermentation of a grain such as corn or wheat.

Evidence for the effectiveness of glucosamine as a dietary supplement is mixed. In the United States, it is one of the most common dietary supplements used by adults that is neither a vitamin nor a mineral.


Glycosaminoglycans (GAGs) or mucopolysaccharides are long unbranched polysaccharides consisting of a repeating disaccharide unit. The repeating unit (except for keratan) consists of an amino sugar (N-acetylglucosamine or N-acetylgalactosamine) along with a uronic sugar (glucuronic acid or iduronic acid) or galactose. Glycosaminoglycans are highly polar and attract water. They are therefore useful to the body as a lubricant or as a shock absorber.

Mucopolysaccharidoses are a group of metabolic disorders in which abnormal accumulations of glycosaminoglycans occur because of enzyme deficiencies.


Gypsum is a soft sulfate mineral composed of calcium sulfate dihydrate, with the chemical formula CaSO4·2H2O. It is widely mined and is used as a fertilizer, and as the main constituent in many forms of plaster, blackboard chalk and wallboard. A massive fine-grained white or lightly tinted variety of gypsum, called alabaster, has been used for sculpture by many cultures including Ancient Egypt, Mesopotamia, Ancient Rome, the Byzantine Empire and the Nottingham alabasters of Medieval England. Mohs scale of mineral hardness, based on scratch hardness comparison, defines hardness value 2 as gypsum. It forms as an evaporite mineral and as a hydration product of anhydrite.

Iron(II) sulfate

Iron(II) sulfate (British English: iron(II) sulphate) or ferrous sulfate denotes a range of salts with the formula FeSO4·xH2O. These compounds exist most commonly as the heptahydrate (x = 7) but are known for several values of x. The hydrated form is used medically to treat iron deficiency, and also for industrial applications. Known since ancient times as copperas and as green vitriol (vitriol is an archaic name for sulfate), the blue-green heptahydrate (hydrate with 7 molecules of water) is the most common form of this material. All the iron(II) sulfates dissolve in water to give the same aquo complex [Fe(H2O)6]2+, which has octahedral molecular geometry and is paramagnetic. The name copperas dates from times when the copper(II) sulfate was known as blue copperas, and perhaps in analogy, iron(II) and zinc sulfate were known respectively as green and white copperas.It is on the World Health Organization's List of Essential Medicines, the most important medications needed in a basic health system.

Magnesium sulfate

Magnesium sulfate is an inorganic salt with the formula MgSO4(H2O)x where 0≤x≤7. It is often encountered as the heptahydrate sulfate mineral epsomite (MgSO4·7H2O), commonly called Epsom salt. The overall global annual usage in the mid-1970s of the monohydrate was 2.3 million tons, of which the majority was used in agriculture.Epsom salt has been traditionally used as a component of bath salts. Epsom salt can also be used as a beauty product. Athletes use it to soothe sore muscles, while gardeners use it to improve crops. It has a variety of other uses: for example, Epsom salt is also effective in the removal of splinters.


Mephentermine is a cardiac stimulant. It was formerly used in Wyamine nasal decongestant inhalers and before that as a stimulant in psychiatry.

It has been used as a treatment for low blood pressure.ATC Classification: C01CA11 - mephentermine ; Belongs to the class of adrenergic and dopaminergic cardiac stimulants excluding glycosides. Used in the treatment of heart failure.


N-acetylglucosamine-6-sulfatase also known as glucosamine (N-acetyl)-6-sulfatase is an enzyme that in humans is encoded by the GNS gene. This enzyme is deficient in Sanfilippo Syndrome type IIId. This enzyme catalyses the following chemical reaction:

Hydrolysis of the 6-sulfate groups of the N-acetyl-D-glucosamine 6-sulfate units of heparan sulfate and keratan sulfate

Prasterone sulfate

Prasterone sulfate (brand names Astenile, Levospa, Mylis, Teloin), also known as dehydroepiandrosterone sulfate (DHEA-S), is a naturally occurring androstane steroid which is marketed and used in Japan as a labor inducer in the treatment of insufficient cervical ripening and dilation during childbirth. It is the C3β sulfate ester of prasterone (dehydroepiandrosterone; DHEA), and is known to act as a prohormone of DHEA and by extension of androgens and estrogens, although it also has its own activity as a neurosteroid. Prasterone sulfate is used medically as the sodium salt via injection and is referred to by the name sodium prasterone sulfate (JAN).


Pregnenolone (P5), or pregn-5-en-3β-ol-20-one, is an endogenous steroid and precursor/metabolic intermediate in the biosynthesis of most of the steroid hormones, including the progestogens, androgens, estrogens, glucocorticoids, and mineralocorticoids. In addition, pregnenolone is biologically active in its own right, acting as a neurosteroid.In addition to its role as a natural hormone, pregnenolone has been used as a medication and supplement; for information on pregnenolone as a medication or supplement, see the pregnenolone (medication) article.

Sodium dodecyl sulfate

Sodium dodecyl sulfate (SDS), synonymously sodium lauryl sulfate (SLS), or sodium laurilsulfate, is a synthetic organic compound with the formula CH3(CH2)11SO4 Na. It is an anionic surfactant used in many cleaning and hygiene products. The sodium salt is of an organosulfate class of organics. It consists of a 12-carbon tail attached to a sulfate group, that is, it is the sodium salt of dodecyl hydrogen sulfate, the ester of dodecyl alcohol and sulfuric acid. Its hydrocarbon tail combined with a polar "headgroup" give the compound amphiphilic properties and so make it useful as a detergent. Also derived as a component of mixtures produced from inexpensive coconut and palm oils, SDS is a common component of many domestic cleaning, personal hygiene and cosmetic, pharmaceutical, and food products, as well as of industrial and commercial cleaning and product formulations.

Sodium sulfate

Sodium sulfate (also known as sodium sulphate or sulfate of soda) is the inorganic compound with formula Na2SO4 as well as several related hydrates. All forms are white solids that are highly soluble in water. With an annual production of 6 million tonnes, the decahydrate is a major commodity chemical product. It is mainly used for the manufacture of detergents and in the kraft process of paper pulping.

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