Sulfate vs. Sulfite

By Jaxson

  • Sulfate

    The sulfate or sulphate (see spelling differences) ion is a polyatomic anion with the empirical formula SO2−4. 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.

  • Sulfite

    Sulfites or sulphites are compounds that contain the sulfite ion (or the sulfate(IV) ion, from its correct systematic name), SO2−3. The sulfite ion is the conjugate base of bisulfite. Although its acid (sulfurous acid) is elusive, its salts are widely used.

    Sulfites are substances that naturally occur in some foods and the human body. They are also used as regulated food additives.

  • Sulfate (noun)

    Any ester of sulfuric acid.

  • Sulfate (noun)

    Any salt of sulfuric acid.

  • Sulfate (verb)

    To treat something with sulfuric acid, a sulfate, or with sulfur dioxide.

  • Sulfate (verb)

    To accumulate a deposit of lead sulfate.

  • Sulfite (noun)

    Any salt of sulfurous acid.


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