For root-feeders, bisulphide of carbon injected into the soil is of particular value.
It is decomposed by water, and with a solution of yellow phosphorus in carbon bisulphide it gives a red powder of composition PBI 2, which sublimes in vacuo at 210° C. to red crystals, and when heated in a current of hydrogen loses its iodine and leaves a residue of boron phosphide PB.
Boron sulphide B 2 S 3 can be obtained by the direct union of the two elements at a white heat or from the tri-iodide and sulphur at 44 0 ° C., but is most conveniently prepared by heating a mixture of the trioxide and carbon in a stream of carbon bisulphide vapour.
A pentasulphide B2S5 is prepared, in an impure condition, by heating a solution of sulphur in carbon bisulphide with boron iodide, and forms a white crystalline powder which decomposes under the influence of water into sulphur, sulphuretted hydrogen and boric acid.
It has a characteristic smell, and a biting taste; it is poisonous, and acts as a powerful antiseptic. It dissolves in water, 15 parts of water dissolving about one part of phenol at 16-17° C., but it is miscible in all proportions at about 70° C.; it is volatile in steam, and is readily soluble in alcohol, ether, benzene, carbon bisulphide, chloroform and glacial acetic acid.