Hydrogen sulfide also referred to as H2S is a colorless gas and it comes with a typical smell of rotten eggs. There are many sources of H2S emissions and the most common ones are emissions caused by natural gas and oil during the period of extracting the oil and processing it. There are also natural sources of hydrogen sulfide contamination and it does occur because of geothermal fields. It also is caused because of bacterial decomposition of animal and human wastes and also is present in emissions that occur from sewage treatment facilities and also from landfills. There are also industrial sources like coke oven plants, Kraft paper mills and petrochemical plants that could cause the emission and concentration of H2S in water and another source.
Characteristics of Hydrogen Sulfide
H2S has an odor that is extremely foul and strong. At high levels of concentration, it could lead to tearing of the eyes and also could lead to headaches, vomiting or nausea. These are caused because of overstimulation of the body to a sense of smell. There is one more important feature of H2S that needs to be understood. Hydrogen sulfide can be detected even at very low levels. As far as a population of H2S in various elements is concerned, the threshold limit is between 0.03 to 0.05 ppm. However, some individuals are capable of detecting much lower levels of concentration. When the concentration limits exceed 50 ppm it could lead to eye irritation and when it exceeds 300 ppm it could lead to serious health impact. However, such high levels are restricted to an industrial accident and occupational accident situations. It could also lead to an increase in the risk of asthma though such findings are not fully backed by research papers.
Does It Impact Indoors?
H2S does not normally impact indoors. However, we must be aware of the possible H2S sources and it could be caused by the decomposition of some foodstuffs and a few other things. We also need to understand that H2S is added to natural gas to aid gas leak detection. When you come across such an H2S concentration in the indoors, the local authorities and gas companies must be notified and they should be asked to investigate the reason for such a gas leak.
How To Remove H2S Pollution?
There are many ways by which hydrogen sulfide can be removed in many ways. They include the use of carbon filtration methods, ion exchange, shock chlorination, oxidation, and manganese greensand filtration amongst other forms. When the above methods are used, the hydrogen sulfide gets absorbed onto the surface of the various carbon particles. It can also be hydrogen sulfide removed by spraying by a mix of sodium carbonate with water. You could also use other means such as the use of chlorine in large quantities and this also is referred to as shock chlorination treatment.
At the end of the day, there is no doubt that there is an urgent need for taking steps to overcome the situation. We also need to mention that the odor is so foul that when it gets contaminated with water it leads to the water being unfit for drinking.