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Hydrogen Sulfide

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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?

While there is no federal regulatory method for hydrogen sulfide in the US, labs, agencies, and oilfield workers often measure hydrogen sulfide gas through these means, whose cost and sensitivity vary pretty widely:

  • badges or glass tubes that change color
  • continuously sampling electronic sensors, some worn by oilfield workers
  • air grab sampling, as by the Bucket Brigades, tested with gas chromatography

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?")

For more information about different measurement methods, see: 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:

Help out! Please help link the above bullet points to corresponding pages across this site.


Questions

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!

Title Author Updated Likes Comments
Is there more information on the "Corrosion Coupon" hydrogen sulfide test kit? @warren over 2 years ago 1
What lab tests are available for hydrogen sulfide, and how much do they cost? @warren over 2 years ago 4
What are different commercially available hydrogen sulfide detection methods? @warren almost 3 years ago 3
Does your state have air quality standards for hydrogen sulfide? @gretchengehrke almost 3 years ago 0
Are there occupational exposure rules limiting exposure to hydrogen sulfide? @gretchengehrke almost 3 years ago 1
Are there air quality standards for hydrogen sulfide? @gretchengehrke almost 3 years ago 1
How to select a site for hydrogen sulfide testing? @warren almost 3 years ago 3
How can we safely try out and evaluate a hydrogen sulfide test? @warren almost 3 years ago 4
What's the best setup for a copper rod or copper plate test for DIY hydrogen sulfide detection? @warren almost 3 years ago 6
Can we determine hydrogen sulfide concentration, or a threshold presence/absence using the copper pipe method? @gretchengehrke almost 3 years ago 0
What is the hydrogen sulfide concentration range that can be monitored using a copper tarnish method? @gretchengehrke almost 3 years ago 1
Effective low-cost water filters to remove hydrogen sulfide? @gretchengehrke almost 3 years ago 2
What methods are available for doing air grab samples for hydrogen sulfide? @stevie almost 3 years ago 2
What are the relative rates of hydrogen sulfide oxidation in ambient air? @gretchengehrke about 3 years ago 1
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Ask a question  or help answer future questions on this topic


Related pages

See other related wiki pages here

Recent updates

Title Author Updated Likes Comments
Copper Strip Test Preparation Using Solvents @ErikHanley11 over 2 years ago 1
Two Rounds of Copper Rod Test Making @ErikHanley11 over 2 years ago 3
Response to Alternative Copper Sheet Preparation Method on Public Lab @ErikHanley11 over 2 years ago 0
Qualitative Time Lapse of Copper Corrosion @ErikHanley11 over 2 years ago 4
Copper Rod to Copper Sheet Discussion @ErikHanley11 over 2 years ago 0
Can Bio-char products absorb CAFO gases like Hydrogen Sulfide or Ammonia? @zengirl2 over 2 years ago 3
Is there more information on the "Corrosion Coupon" hydrogen sulfide test kit? @warren over 2 years ago 1
What lab tests are available for hydrogen sulfide, and how much do they cost? @warren over 2 years ago 4
How to Help Citizens Affected by Factory Farming? #waterquality #airquality #CAFO #factoryfarms @zengirl2 almost 3 years ago 1
What are some options for copper materials to make a copper plate test kit? @warren almost 3 years ago 3
Help collect environmental sensors + probes on a shared list @warren almost 3 years ago 0
What are different commercially available hydrogen sulfide detection methods? @warren almost 3 years ago 3
Can you use rubbing alcohol or nail polish remover for prepping copper for Hydrogen Sulfide test? @zengirl2 almost 3 years ago 16
How to select a site for hydrogen sulfide testing? @warren almost 3 years ago 3
How can we safely try out and evaluate a hydrogen sulfide test? @warren almost 3 years ago 4
Training in odor identification? @sara almost 3 years ago 1
What's the best setup for a copper rod or copper plate test for DIY hydrogen sulfide detection? @warren almost 3 years ago 6
Can copper sulfide and copper oxide products be precisely visually identified? @gretchengehrke almost 3 years ago 5
How quickly do copper sulfide and copper oxide form under different environmental conditions? @gretchengehrke almost 3 years ago 0
What is the hydrogen sulfide concentration range that can be monitored using a copper tarnish method? @gretchengehrke almost 3 years ago 1
Copper Sheet Hydrogen Sulfide Detection Activity @gretchengehrke almost 3 years ago 15
Effective low-cost water filters to remove hydrogen sulfide? @gretchengehrke almost 3 years ago 2
What methods are available for doing air grab samples for hydrogen sulfide? @stevie almost 3 years ago 2
Hydrogen sulfide badges by Morphix Technologies @gretchengehrke about 3 years ago 3
What are the reaction rates of hydrogen sulfide with oxygen versus copper or silver? @gretchengehrke about 3 years ago 0
What are the relative rates of hydrogen sulfide oxidation in ambient air? @gretchengehrke about 3 years ago 1
Methods for or experience measuring workplace hydrogen sulfide gas? @gretchengehrke about 3 years ago 2
Article on monitoring hydrogen sulfide with a copper pipe @warren over 3 years ago 0
Preparation for Pilot H2S Testing @ErikHanley11 about 5 years ago 0
Toward calibrating H2S sensors. @JSummers almost 6 years ago 1
Sensing Hydrogen Sulfide from CAFO Emissions in Poweshiek County, Iowa @sophie about 6 years ago 6
H2S Photopaper Processing notes @ewilder over 6 years ago 2
Hydrogen Sulfide Photopaper Sensing Tool - Development Notes @ewilder over 6 years ago 2
Quantifying Airborne Hydrogen Sulfide @JSummers over 6 years ago 5
NU Darkroom Setup @Clarke_Brian over 7 years ago 0
Alternate Design for H2S Cannister @deepwinter over 7 years ago 3
Interest in Hidrogen Sulfide Sensing @fernandolunav almost 8 years ago 3
Putting together H2S Test Kit @megan about 8 years ago 2
First Experiment Analyzed @megan about 8 years ago 2
Easy ways to make precise maps @megan about 8 years ago 0
Identifying Wells in Field and Experiment Design @megan about 8 years ago 0
Choosing Test Sites in Aztec, NM @megan about 8 years ago 0
Gas, some Hydrogen Sulfide escaping from collapsing salt dome @eustatic about 8 years ago 0
monitoring industrial H2S sources in new orleans area @eustatic about 8 years ago 1
Field test #2: H2S strip placement in Bayou Sauvage NWR, Orleans Parish, LA @Shannon about 8 years ago 1
H2S strips batch 2: New Mexico @sara about 8 years ago 0
Safety Precautions for H2S Research @sara about 8 years ago 4
Bayou Sauvage Results 1: problems in labeling test strips @sara about 8 years ago 4
Bayou Savage Results 2: degree of canister openness @sara about 8 years ago 1
Bayou Sauvage Results 2: reflections on fixing process @sara about 8 years ago 2
H2S strip batch 1 for testing made 4/26 @sara over 8 years ago 3
Sample Images from Fieldtest of Photostrip H2S Dection Method @MSGonzales over 8 years ago 5
Excellent Geoscience Fieldtest of Photostrip H2S Detection @sara over 8 years ago 0
Map of EPA National Priorities List sites with H2S issues @sara over 8 years ago 0
Map of New Mexico Natural Gas Wells in New Mexico and levels of Hydrogen Sulfide @sara over 8 years ago 0
Planning for Public Lab H2S screen Experiments-Equipment @sara over 8 years ago 0
Materials for Copper Pipe work @sara over 8 years ago 2
Summary of Lionel Milberger’s Copper Test @megan over 8 years ago 0
FOOLING OR REDUCING THE QUANTITY OF H2S (hydrogen sulfide) IN WELL TESTS. @sara over 8 years ago 0
Possible sensor for field calibration of photo test strips @megan over 8 years ago 0
H2S Experimental Set: Draft 1 @sara over 8 years ago 0
Planning for Public Lab H2S screen Experiments @sara over 8 years ago 0
Procedure for Fixing H2S photographic paper strips @sara over 8 years ago 0
Making Glycerol Solution for H2S film Assay @sara over 8 years ago 0
Copper rod test for H2S @Sharon Wilson over 8 years ago 2
Bibliography for Hydrogen Sulfide Research @sara over 8 years ago 1
Hydrogen Sulfide Testing-glove bag @sara over 8 years ago 4
H2S film strip test #2 @Shannon over 8 years ago 2
Prototype for Filmbased Hydrogen Sulfide Testing strips @sara over 8 years ago 3
EPA Reinstates Toxics Release Inventory Reporting Requirements For Hydrogen Sulfide @sara almost 9 years ago 0
Controlled Testing with B&W Film Hydrogen Sulfide Detectors @jschaffr almost 9 years ago 2
Hydrogen Sulfide Dosimeter @sara almost 9 years ago 1
Hydrogen Sulfide Testing With Black and White Film @jschaffr almost 9 years ago 3
Hydrogen Sulfide tarnishing Silver @sara almost 9 years ago 1
Conversion from µg/m3 to ppm hydrogen sulfide @sara almost 9 years ago 2
Hydrogen Sulfide Information on the Gas @sara almost 9 years ago 0
Prototype H2S sensor @warren almost 9 years ago 0
"...when the hydrogen sulfide concentration reaches approximately 15 ppm, the human nose becomes desensitized" @warren almost 9 years ago 1
Notes on Global Community Monitor Report on Bucket samples from Gas Patch @sara about 9 years ago 0
Hydrogen Sulfide Monitoring In Gas Patch Background @sara about 9 years ago 0
Show more


Activities

These activities are to guide you to test out hydrogen sulfide detection methods or use these tools in the field:

Add an activity  or request an activity guide you don't see listed

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.

  1. Agency for Toxic Substance and Disease Registry. 2016. Hydrogen Sulfide Fact Sheet. https://www.atsdr.cdc.gov/ToxProfiles/tp114-c1-b.pdf.

  2. National Research Council. 2010. Acute Exposure Guidelines. https://www.epa.gov/sites/production/files/2014-11/documents/hydrogen_sulfide_final_volume9_2010.pdf.