Hydrogen sulfide

Jump to navigation Jump to search


A colorless gas that smells like rotten eggs. Hydrogen sulfide occurs as a component in natural gas, volcanic gas, and sulfur springs. Other sources of the Pollutant include the combustion of sulfur containing coal, and the organic decay of manure. Hydrogen sulfide can also be emitted from some paints, textiles, and vulcanized rubbers. As a component in air pollution, it is responsible for tarnishing silver and blackening lead pigments. Commercially, hydrogen sulfide is used as an antiseptic and a bleach.

  • See Pollutant record for a comparison table of aerosols and collection risks.

Synonyms and Related Terms

sulfureted hydrogen; hydrosulfuric acid; ashepatic air; fetid air of sulfur; sulphydric acid; hydrothionic acid

Personal Risks

  • Highly toxic by inhalation.
  • Causes irritation to eyes and mucous membranes.
  • Flammable, dangerous fire risk. Explosive limits 4.3-46%.
  • Airgas: SDS

Collection Risks

  • Corrodes or tarnish silver, copper, bronze and lead
  • Corrodes daguerreotypes
  • Can cause silver mirroring
  • Yellowing of paper and fabric
  • Lead white darkening
  • Red rot in leather

Physical and Chemical Properties

Soluble in water, glycerol, gasoline, kerosene, carbon disulfide. Burns in air with a pale blue flame.

Composition H2S
CAS 7783-06-4
Melting Point -83.8 C
Molecular Weight mol. wt. = 34.08
Boiling Point -60.2 C

Physical and Chemical Properties

  • Jean Tétreault, 'Products used in Preventive Conservation' Technical Bulletin #2, CCI, 2017. Link
  • Wikipedia: Hydrogen sulfide Accessed July 2023