Hydrogen sulphide

  • Formula: H2S
  • Hill system formula: H2S1
  • CAS registry number: [7783-06-4]
  • Formula weight: 34.082
  • Class: sulphide
  • Colour: colourless
  • Appearance: gas
  • Melting point: -85.6°C
  • Boiling point: -60.3°C
  • Density: 993 kg m-3 (liquid at freezing point); 1.496 kg m-3 (gas)

The following are some synonyms of hydrogen sulphide:

  • hydrogen sulphide
  • hydrogen(I) sulphide
  • dihydrogen monosulfide
  • dihydrogen monosulphide
  • dihydrogen sulfide
  • dihydrogen sulphide
  • hydrogen sulfide
  • hydrogen(I) sulfide
  • sulfane
  • sulfuretted hydrogen

The oxidation number of hydrogen in hydrogen sulphide is 1.


Hydrogen sulphide (extreme caution!) may be made in the laboratory by the reaction of calcium(II) sulphide, magnesium(II) chloride, and water. The hydrogen(I) sulphide is collected by condensation. The yield is about 80%.

CaS + MgCl2 + 2H2O → CaCl2 + Mg(OH)2 + H2S

Other routes in the laboratory include the reaction between iron(II) sulphide and dilute hydrochloric acid, or the direct reaction between the elements at high temperatures.

2HCl + FeS → Fe2+(aq) + 2Cl-(aq) + H2S

8H2 + S8 (600°C) → 8H2S

Solid state structure

  • Geometry of hydrogen: 1 coordinate: terminus
  • Prototypical structure:

Crystal structure of hydrogen sulphide

Element analysis

The table shows element percentages for H2S (hydrogen sulphide).

Element %
H 5.91
S 94.09

Isotope pattern for H2S

The chart below shows the calculated isotope pattern for the formula H2S with the most intense ion set to 100%.


The data on these compounds pages are assembled and adapted from the primary literature and several other sources including the following.

  • R.T. Sanderson in Chemical Periodicity, Reinhold, New York, USA, 1960.
  • N.N. Greenwood and A. Earnshaw in Chemistry of the Elements, 2nd edition, Butterworth, UK, 1997.
  • F.A. Cotton, G. Wilkinson, C.A. Murillo, and M. Bochmann, in Advanced Inorganic Chemistry, John Wiley & Sons, 1999.
  • A.F. Trotman-Dickenson, (ed.) in Comprehensive Inorganic Chemistry, Pergamon, Oxford, UK, 1973.
  • R.W.G. Wyckoff, in Crystal Structures, volume 1, Interscience, John Wiley & Sons, 1963.
  • A.R.West in Basic solid state chemistry Chemistry, John Wiley & Sons, 1999.
  • A.F. Wells in Structural inorganic chemistry, 4th edition, Oxford, UK, 1975.
  • J.D.H. Donnay, (ed.) in Crystal data determinative tables, ACA monograph number 5, American Crystallographic Association, USA, 1963.
  • D.R. Lide, (ed.) in Chemical Rubber Company handbook of chemistry and physics, CRC Press, Boca Raton, Florida, USA, 77th edition, 1996.
  • J.W. Mellor in A comprehensive treatise on inorganic and theoretical chemistry, volumes 1-16, Longmans, London, UK, 1922-1937.
  • J.E. Macintyre (ed.) in Dictionary of inorganic compounds, volumes 1-3, Chapman & Hall, London, UK, 1992.

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