Neutralizing H2S- Rendering Hydrogen Sulfide in the air into a non-toxic state

Bleach is an effective neutralizer and you don't need a expensive H2S monitor. Zinc oxide can be used to create a protective shield.f
  • #1
Neutralizing H2S-- Rendering Hydrogen Sulfide in the air into a non-toxic state

Yes, as the title suggests I need to neutralize some H2S so that I can safely enter some confined spaces. I was hoping if I had another chemical that would neutralize the H2S then I could fill a fire extinguisher with it and use that to make the air non-toxic. I'd also like to reduce it into something that is safe to breathe, and prefferably non-corrosive and non-explosive. I know they don't make chemical indicators for it, either. The masks and containment suits I would need for this are more than 5 grand a pop and the meters are 2 grand a pop. I've also heard that by disturbing the H2S just from moving it in any way, can produce electrostatic charges and cause it to ignite itself. That might be a problem. If all else fails, I read an MSDS on the stuff and and am trying to figure out where I can get my hands on some Isoamyl Nitrite to use as an antidote. Alternatives to Isoamyl Nitrite are Sodium Nitrite, Pyridoxine, and Urea. The first two are to be taken through the inhalation route and the second two are to be taken intravenously as antidotes to H2S poisoning by inhalation. If anyone has any idea how the neutralization of H2S can be achived--even if you're just bouncing ideas--please let me know ASAP. Thanks!
  • #2
H2S is really nasty stuff. This is the reason that the masks for it are so expensive. A fire extinguisher filled with a chemical wouldn't work, because while you spray forward, H2S is circulating behind you. Get a PAPR/SCBA apparatus approved for H2S (NOT JUST "RESCUE ONLY") and get proper fit testing done for the mask.

If this is for a job, be aware that OSHA MANDATES proper protection for employees, and this means masks, suits, meters, etc. NOT just a neutralizing spray.
  • #3
Bleach. Bleach is good for neutralizing a lot of nasty smelling sulfur stuff. You would need to pour it though on the source where the SH2 is coming from. It wouldn't be that effective at getting rid of the SH2 that is already in the atmosphere.
  • #4
Use zinc oxide. the reaction of sulfur and zinc forms more stable znS. Pump your waste gas of H2S over znoxide surface. if conc too high then you need to bubble through solution of zinc (zinc chloride etc.)
  • #5
Everybody that I know would just ventilate while measuring H2S concentrations. This is typically performed when entering sewer manholes and lift stations.

Ventilation - cheap, effective, no disposal issues

Chemical scrubbing - expensive, complicated, disposal of reagents required...
  • #6
H2S monitors are not 2 grand a pop. Try searching for hydrogen sulfide monitors on google. Closer to 200 to 550 per unit... cheap insurance.

hydrogen sulfide cannot be reduced to anything safe. It can be oxidized to elemental sulfur by atmospheric oxygen (slow process) or to various oxygenated species by strong oxidants (fast process) that are themselves toxic, dangerous and produce products that also require PPO in confined spaces.

  • #7
I'd also suggest double checking with medical personnel on those antidotes in the event you are exposed. For example, sodium nitrite is a pretty potent vasodilator (I use it for exactly that purpose in my research), so unless the effects of H2S exposure include vasoconstriction, those antidotes won't be without complications of their own.

Take chemistree's advice and ventillate the area!

Suggested for: Neutralizing H2S- Rendering Hydrogen Sulfide in the air into a non-toxic state