This is the organizing page for research related to hydrogen sulfide in Public Lab.
What is hydrogen sulfide, what are its effects, and where is it found?
Hydrogen sulfide, with the chemical formula H2S, is a flammable gas that has a pungent odor at low concentrations and is odorless at higher concentrations. It can be a respiratory irritant and a neurotoxin. For more information about hydrogen sulfide health effects, please see: https://publiclab.org/wiki/hydrogen-sulfide-effects.
Hydrogen sulfide is naturally formed in low-oxygen conditions with sulfate present, such as in organic-rich sediments and thus in petrochemical source rocks. Upon exposure to oxygen, hydrogen sulfide readily oxidizes to sulfur dioxide or sulfate, and generally reacts within hours to days. For information about hydrogen sulfide sources and spatial and temporal variation, please see: https://publiclab.org/wiki/hydrogen-sulfide-environment
How are hydrogen sulfide emissions and exposures regulated?
In the United States, hydrogen sulfide emissions are only federally regulated to the extent that they contribute to sulfur dioxide formation, and thus acid rain. These emissions are regulated through the Prevention of Significant Deterioration of major stationary sources review and permitting. Exposure to hydrogen sulfide is mostly regulated in terms of occupational exposure, with very few states regulating ambient exposure to this toxin. For detailed information of environmental and occupational hydrogen sulfide regulations, please see: https://publiclab.org/wiki/hydrogen-sulfide-regulations
How can hydrogen sulfide be measured?
Hydrogen sulfide can be measured through a variety of means. While there is no federal regulatory method for hydrogen sulfide, agencies often measure hydrogen sulfide emissions through continuous sampling of gaseous emissions, and measure hydrogen sulfide workplace exposure through air grab samples chemically processed and discerned through gas chromatography. For routine monitoring, there are several hydrogen sulfide passive samplers that utilize color-changing oxidation-reduction reactions. For more information about laboratory, commercially available, and DIY hydrogen sulfide measurement methods, please see: https://publiclab.org/wiki/hydrogen-sulfide-detection
Do-It-Yourself approaches to detection
There are three prototype, low-cost hydrogen sulfide detection methods currently being explored by Public Lab community members. These include:
- a method using photographic paper
- a copper rod method
- a technique using a Do-It-Yourself potentiostat
- commercial electronic H2S sensors connected to a computer or #arduino
Help out! Please help link the above bullet points to corresponding pages across this site.
Off-the-shelf approaches to detection
There are a number of products available for detecting H2S at different levels, including:
- badges that change color (price, sensitivity?)
- electronic sensors you can wear (price, sensitivity?)
- air grab sampling, as by the Bucket Brigades
We're compiling information about the pros, cons, prices, and sensitivity/limitations about these techniques. See the Questions section below to help build out this list. (we'll link in a question here once it's been posted: "What are different commercially available hydrogen sulfide detection methods?")
We can't make progress on these techniques and resources without addressing our unknowns. Please ask questions to help shape the direction of our work!
See other related wiki pages here
These activities are to guide you to test out hydrogen sulfide detection methods or use these tools in the field:
|Qualitative Time Lapse of Copper Corrosion||-||-||@ErikHanley11||-||-||0 replications: Try it »|
|Copper Sheet Hydrogen Sulfide Detection Activity||test-limits||draft||@gretchengehrke||1h||easy||2 replications: Try it »|
|Copper Strip Test Preparation Using Solvents||-||-||@ErikHanley11||-||-||0 replications: Try it »|
|Hydrogen Sulfide Testing With Black and White Film||-||-||@jschaffr||-||-||3 replications: Try it »|
|Two Rounds of Copper Rod Test Making||-||-||@ErikHanley11||-||-||0 replications: Try it »|
Activities should include a materials list, costs and a step-by-step guide to construction with photos. Learn what makes a good activity here.
Where can I find more information?
Two particularly good resources are listed below. Other hydrogen sulfide wiki pages (mentioned above) include additional relevant resources.
Agency for Toxic Substance and Disease Registry. 2016. Hydrogen Sulfide Fact Sheet. https://www.atsdr.cdc.gov/ToxProfiles/tp114-c1-b.pdf.
National Research Council. 2010. Acute Exposure Guidelines. https://www.epa.gov/sites/production/files/2014-11/documents/hydrogen_sulfide_final_volume9_2010.pdf.