Hydrogen sulfide (H₂S)

Hydrogen sulfide (H₂S)

A colorless, toxic gas with the characteristic odor of rotten eggs. It occurs in certain mineral waters and spring waters.



hydrogen sulfide, toxic, rotten egg, sulfides, thermal water, volcanic gases, analysis, reagent, inorganic chemistry, chemistry

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Hydrogen sulfide H₂S


Molar mass: 34.08 g/mol

Melting point: -85.6 °C (-122.08 °F)

Boiling point: -60.3 °C (-76.54 °F)

Relative steam density (air=1): 1.19


Hydrogen sulfide is a colorless, heavier-than-air gas at room temperature with the odor of rotten eggs. It is highly toxic: in small quantities, it causes headache or nausea; in higher concentrations, it causes instant paralysis and death.
It dissolves well in water and forms sulfites with metals. Burning with a bluish flame, hydrogen sulfide turns into water and sulfur dioxide. It can be oxidized to elemental sulfur relatively easily in a slightly acidic environment.

Occurrence and production

It occurs in nature in volcanic gases, spring waters and certain mineral waters. It forms during the decomposition of sulfur-containing proteins. In laboratories, it is produced in a reaction of iron sulfide and diluted hydrochloric acid in Kipp’s apparatus.


It can be used for ion detection in chemical analysis because it forms a precipitate with certain metal ions.

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