Hydrogen Sulphide – UPSC Prelims

Hydrogen Sulphide:
  • Hydrogen sulphide (H2S) is a colourless chalcogen hydride gas with a characteristic foul odour.
  • It is very poisonous, corrosive, and flammable.
  • The gas can irritate the eyes, nose, throat, and lungs.
  • Too much H2S can halt the breathing centre in the brain, which can cause death.
  • It dissolves in water and oil, and it may be released when these liquids are heated, depressurized, or agitated. Because it is heavier than air, it may settle in low spots.
  • It occurs in volcanic gases, natural gas, and in some sources of well water.
  • Hydrogen sulphide is used primarily to produce sulfuric acid and sulphur.
  • It is also used to create a variety of inorganic sulphides used to create pesticides, leather, dyes, and pharmaceuticals.
  • Hydrogen sulphide is used to produce heavy water for nuclear power plants.
How is Hydrogen Sulphide produced?
  • Hydrogen sulfide is often produced from the microbial breakdown of organic matter in the absence of oxygen gas, such as in swamps and sewers. This process is commonly known as anaerobic digestion.
  • It occurs naturally in crude oil, natural gas, and hot springs.
  • H2S also occurs in volcanic gases, natural gas and in some sources of well water.
  • The human body also produces small amounts of H2S and uses it as a signalling molecule.
Why in news? H2S leaked in Vishakhapatnam
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