Physical Properties of H2S

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.

Visibility

H2S is colourless and has a reflective ratio very similar to that of air making it extremely difficult for our eyes to detect.

Boiling Point

With a boiling point of -60.4 degrees Celsius it is typically found in a gaseous state.

Density

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.

Flammable

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.

Explosive

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.

Corrosiveness

It is corrosive to metals as it forms metal sulfides.

Smell

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.