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Sulfuryl fluoride is the chemical compound with the formula SO2F2. This inorganic gas has properties more similar to sulfur hexafluoride than sulfuryl chloride, being resistant to hydrolysis even up to 150 °C. So inert is this material that suspended molten "sodium metal retains its shiny metallic appearance."
Structure and preparation
A laboratory-scale synthesis begins with the preparation of potassium fluorosulfite:
This salt is then chlorinated to give sulfuryl chloride fluoride:
Further heating (180 °C) of potassium fluorosulfite with the sulfuryl chloride fluoride gives the desired product:
Use as a fumigant
Originally developed by the Dow Chemical Company, SO2F2 (sulfuryl fluoride) is in widespread use as a structural fumigant insecticide to control drywood termites, particularly in warm-weather portions of the southwestern and southeastern United States and in Hawaii. Less commonly, it can also be used to control rodents, powder-post beetles, bark beetles, and bedbugs.
Sulfuryl fluoride is currently marketed by two distinct manufacturers, under three different brand names. Vikane (Dow) has been commercially available since the early 1960s, with Zythor (marketed by competitor EnSystex II of North Carolina) being more recently introduced gradually as its use is approved by individual states (in Florida circa 2004, but not in California until October 2006, for example). Dow recently has begun marketing sulfuryl fluoride as a post-harvest fumigant for dry fruits, nuts, and grains under the trade name ProFume. 
During application, the building is enclosed in a tight tent and filled with the gas for a period of time, usually at least 16-18 hours, sometimes as long as 72 hours. The building must then be ventilated, generally for at least 6 hours, before occupants can return. Sulfuryl fluoride is colorless, odorless, and leaves no residue. During the fumigation process, a warning agent similar to tear gas is first released into the building to ensure that no occupants remain.
Some pest control experts claim sulfuryl fluoride is the only effective treatment for drywood termites. (Heat is the only other approved method for whole structure treatment for termites in California.) Because it leaves no residue, sulfuryl fluoride provides no protection from future infestations.
Sulfuryl fluoride must be transported in a vehicle marked with "Inhalation Hazard 2" placards. Most U.S. states also require a license or certification for the individual applying the fumigant.
|This article is licensed under the GNU Free Documentation License. It uses material from the Wikipedia article "Sulfuryl_fluoride". A list of authors is available in Wikipedia.|