Understanding the Hydrosulfuric Acid Formula and Its Properties


Michael Fassbender

Hydrosulfuric acid, also known as hydrogen sulfide or sulfane, is a colorless gas with a distinct rotten egg smell. It is flammable, corrosive, and toxic. In this article, we will delve into the properties and the formula of hydrosulfuric acid.

Hydrosulfuric acid has the chemical formula H2S and is formed when hydrogen gas reacts with molten sulfur. The structure of hydrosulfuric acid is similar to that of water, but due to sulfur being less electronegative than oxygen, H2S is not as polar as water. This results in weaker intermolecular forces and lower melting and boiling points compared to water.

Physical Properties of Hydrosulfuric Acid

The molecular weight of hydrosulfuric acid is 34.0809 g/mol, with a melting point of -82°C and a boiling point of -60°C. It has a density of 1.363 g/cm3 and a solubility of 4 g/dm3 in water. The acidity (pKa) of hydrosulfuric acid is 7.0, and its vapor pressure is 1740 kPa.

Chemical Properties of Hydrosulfuric Acid

When hydrosulfuric acid is mixed with air, it can lead to an explosion. It reacts with oxygen to produce sulfur and water, and with sulfuric acid to yield sulfur dioxide, sulfur, and water. Additionally, it can be prepared through various methods, including the reaction of hydrogen gas with molten sulfur or the reaction of ferrous sulfide with a strong acid like hydrochloric acid.

Uses of Hydrosulfuric Acid

Hydrosulfuric acid is utilized in the production of sulfuric acid and elemental sulfur. It finds applications in leather, dyes, pesticides, pharmaceuticals, and as an agricultural disinfectant. Moreover, it is employed in nuclear power plants to produce heavy water.


What are the health hazards of Hydrosulfuric Acid?

Hydrosulfuric Acid is highly toxic, corrosive, and flammable, posing life-threatening risks if mishandled. Exposure to low concentrations can cause irritation to the nose, throat, or eyes, nausea, shortness of breath, headaches, memory loss, tiredness, and loss of consciousness.

Where is hydrosulfuric Acid found?

Hydrosulfuric Acid is naturally found in natural gas, crude petroleum, and through the decomposition of animal and human waste.

What are the conjugate acid and conjugate bases of Hydrosulfuric Acid?

The conjugate base of hydrosulfuric acid is disulfide (HS–), and its conjugate acid is sulfonium (H3S+).

What happens when hydrosulfuric acid is reacted with oxygen?

When hydrosulfuric acid reacts with oxygen, it produces sulfur and water.

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