A crucial component of H2S alive training is understanding the properties of Hydrogen Sulfide. Understanding these basic concepts and having this basic knowledge will help in keeping you safe when working in the natural gas or petroleum industry. This page will outline the physical properties of H2S.
H2S is colourless and has a reflective ratio very similar to that of air making it extremely difficult for our eyes to detect.
With a boiling point of -60.4 degrees Celsius it is typically found in a gaseous state.
It is heavier and denser than air with a density of 1.1363 relative to air. This means it is likely to be found in low lying areas with little to no ventilation. However, if environmental conditions are right it can rise in the air.
H2S is highly explosive and only requires a concentration of 4% for a flash fire when exposed to a relatively cool heat source of 232 Degree Celsius.
H2S is explosive and reactive in the presence of strong nitric acid.
Dissolves in Water
H2S is soluble in water and many other liquids. Dissolved in water it will form hydro sulfuric acid which can cause eye irritation.
Water that is contaminated with H2S is typically clear but may become cloudy as sulfur precipitates out.
It is corrosive to metals as it forms metal sulfides.
In low concentrations in smells like rotten eggs but will vary depending on the concentrations. The olfactory receptors in the nose become paralyzed in concentrations of 100ppm. These receptors will also become quickly fatigued in low concentrations and do not provide an effective detector of H2S.