HYDROGEN SULPHIDE SAFETY TRAINING
- August 23, 2017
- Posted by: Numero Uno Training & Consultancy
- Category: Training & Developments
Hydrogen sulphide is the chemical compound with the formula H2S. It is a colorless gas with the characteristic foul odour of rotten eggs. It is very poisonous, corrosive, and flammable. Hydrogen sulphide is most commonly obtained by its separation from sour gas, which is natural gas with high content of H2S. It can also be produced by treating hydrogen with molten elemental sulphur at about 450 °C. Hydrocarbons can serve as a source of hydrogen in this process.
Hydrogen sulfide gas causes a wide range of health effects. Workers are primarily exposed to hydrogen sulfide by breathing it. The effects depend on how much hydrogen sulfide you breathe and for how long. Exposure to very high concentrations can quickly lead to death.
Molar mass: 34.0809 g/mol
Boiling point: -60 °C
Density: 1.36 kg/m³
Melting point: -82 °C
Soluble in: Water
Hydrogen Sulfide (H2S) is a gas commonly found during the drilling and production of crude oil and natural gas, plus in wastewater treatment and utility facilities and sewers.
The gas is produced as a result of the microbial breakdown of organic materials in the absence of oxygen. Gas is a silent threat, often invisible to the body’s senses. Inhalation is the primary route of exposure to hydrogen sulfide. Though it may be easily smelled by some people at small concentrations, continuous exposure to even low levels of H2S quickly deadens the sense of smell (olfactory desensitization). Exposure to high levels of the gas can deaden the sense of smell instantly.
Hydrogen sulfide is the chemical compound with the formula H2S. It is a colorless gas with the characteristic foul odor of rotten eggs. It is very poisonous, corrosive, and flammable.
Hydrogen sulfide is most commonly obtained by its separation from sour gas, which is natural gas with high content of H2S. It can also be produced by treating hydrogen with molten elemental sulfur at about 450 °C. Hydrocarbons can serve as a source of hydrogen in this process
Hydrogen sulfide is a highly toxic and flammable gas (flammable range: 4.3–46%). Being heavier than air, it tends to accumulate at the bottom of poorly ventilated spaces. Although very pungent at first, it quickly deadens the sense of smell, so victims may be unaware of its presence until it is too late. For safe handling procedures, a hydrogen sulfide safety data sheet (SDS) should be consulted.
Hydrogen sulfide is produced naturally from decaying organic matter. It can be released from sewage sludge, liquid manure, and sulfur hot springs, and with natural gas. It is also used or is a by-product in many industrial processes such as: Petroleum production and refining.
What about longer term health effects? Some people who breathed in levels of hydrogen sulfide high enough to become unconscious continue to have headaches and poor attention span, memory, and motor function after waking up. Problems with the cardiovascular system have also been reported at exposures above permissible exposure limits. People who have asthma may be more sensitive to hydrogen sulfide exposure. That is, they may have difficulty breathing at levels lower than people without asthma.
Hydrogen sulfide is a highly explosive gas, it can cause possible life-threatening situations if not properly handled. In addition, hydrogen sulfide gas burns and produces other toxic vapors and gases. In addition to exposure to hydrogen sulfide in the air, exposure to liquid hydrogen sulfide can cause blue skin. If clothing becomes wet, avoid ignition sources, remove the clothing and isolate it in a safe area to allow it to evaporate. The effect called knockdown often results in falls that can seriously injure the worker.
The indication continuing presence of hydrogen sulfide or to warn of harmful levels. You can smell the “rotten egg” odor of hydrogen sulfide at low concentrations in air. But after a while, you lose the ability to smell the gas even though it is still present (olfactory fatigue). This loss of smell can happen very rapidly and at high concentrations and the ability to smell the gas can be lost instantly.
Conduct air monitoring prior to and at regular times during any work activity where hydrogen sulfide exposure is possible. When working in such spaces air monitoring must be conducted in accord with the applicable standard like Detector tubes, direct reading gas monitors, alarm only gas monitors, and explosion meters are examples of monitoring equipment that may be used to test permit space atmospheres.