Poisonous, corrosive and flammable gas / From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
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Hydrogen sulfide is a chemical compound with the formula H
2S. It is a colorless chalcogen-hydride gas, and is poisonous, corrosive, and flammable, with trace amounts in ambient atmosphere having a characteristic foul odor of rotten eggs. The underground mine gas term for foul-smelling hydrogen sulfide-rich gas mixtures is stinkdamp. Swedish chemist Carl Wilhelm Scheele is credited with having discovered the chemical composition of purified hydrogen sulfide in 1777. The British English spelling of this compound is hydrogen sulphide, a spelling no longer recommended by the Royal Society of Chemistry or the International Union of Pure and Applied Chemistry.
|Systematic IUPAC name
3D model (JSmol)
CompTox Dashboard (EPA)
|Molar mass||34.08 g·mol−1|
|Odor||Foul, pungent, like that of rotten eggs|
|Density||1.539 g.L−1 (0°C)|
|Melting point||−85.5 °C (−121.9 °F; 187.7 K)|
|Boiling point||−59.55 °C (−75.19 °F; 213.60 K)|
|3.980 g dm−3 (at 20 °C) |
|Vapor pressure||1740 kPa (at 21 °C)|
Refractive index (nD)
|1.000644 (0 °C)|
Heat capacity (C)
|1.003 J K−1 g−1|
|206 J mol−1 K−1|
Std enthalpy of
|−21 kJ mol−1|
|Occupational safety and health (OHS/OSH):|
|Flammable and highly toxic|
|H220, H330, H400|
|P210, P260, P271, P273, P284, P304+P340, P310, P320, P377, P381, P391, P403, P403+P233, P405, P501|
|NFPA 704 (fire diamond)|
|Flash point||−82.4 °C (−116.3 °F; 190.8 K)|
|232 °C (450 °F; 505 K)|
|Lethal dose or concentration (LD, LC):|
LC50 (median concentration)
LCLo (lowest published)
|NIOSH (US health exposure limits):|
|C 20 ppm; 50 ppm [10-minute maximum peak]|
|C 10 ppm (15 mg/m3) [10-minute]|
IDLH (Immediate danger)
Related hydrogen chalcogenides
Except where otherwise noted, data are given for materials in their standard state (at 25 °C [77 °F], 100 kPa).
Hydrogen sulfide is toxic to humans and most other animals by inhibiting cellular respiration in a manner similar to hydrogen cyanide. When it is inhaled or its salts are ingested in high amounts,[clarification needed] damage to organs occurs rapidly with symptoms ranging from breathing difficulties to convulsions and death. Despite this, the human body produces small amounts of this sulfide and its mineral salts, and uses it as a signalling molecule.
Hydrogen sulfide is often produced from the microbial breakdown of organic matter in the absence of oxygen, such as in swamps and sewers; this process is commonly known as anaerobic digestion, which is done by sulfate-reducing microorganisms. It also occurs in volcanic gases, natural gas deposits, and sometimes in well-drawn water.