Page 2 of 3 FirstFirst 123 LastLast
Results 11 to 20 of 23

Thread: Chemistry lesson - Stink Bombs !

  1. #11
    Join Date
    Jan 2008
    Location
    Stockholm, Sweden
    Posts
    799

    Default

    Yep, hydrogen sulfide is definitely something you need to take seriously. Whenever there's a risk of workers in industrial processes (in Sweden at least) to be exposed to it they have to wear detectors that warn when the concentration exceeds a certain level.

    If you are exposed to very high concentrations, you can fall into a coma after just one breath. It is pretty fascinating how fast the body transports substances when they are absorbed through the lungs.

    Luckily, for the purpose of making stink bombs only low concentrations are required and these can be tolerated indefinitely by humans as our bodies have a very effective way of dealing with hydrogen sulfide. The recognition threshold is as low as 5 ppb and since the olfactory sense is generally saturated at concentrations 10-50 times higher than the recognition threshold there's really no need to go above 1 ppm. Such a concentration would be harmless (apart from the smell) to humans.

    However, to reach 1 ppm in a 5 x 4 x 2.5 m room, 68 mg of hydrogen sulfide would be required (assuming homogeneous distribution). If this was released in a much smaller volume, say 0.5 x 0.5 x 0.5 m the concentration would reach 400 ppm, which can actually be fatal. For this reason I highly doubt any commercial product releases more than 10 mg and the actual amount is likely to be around 1 mg.

    To make your own stink bombs I would suggest using zinc sulfide which can be obtained as cheap glow-in-the-dark pigments and hydrochloric acid. Both should be available at well assorted paint stores. Be careful though, as 1 g of zinc sulfide will produce 350 mg of hydrogen sulfide.

  2. #12
    Join Date
    Jan 2007
    Location
    Yorkshire, UK
    Posts
    4,581

    Default

    Thanks Tocket

    Great information!

    Jem
    Quote: "There is a theory which states that if ever, for any reason, anyone discovers what exactly the Universe is for and why it is here it will instantly disappear and be replaced by something even more bizarre and inexplicable. There is another that states that this has already happened.... Douglas Adams 1952 - 2001

  3. #13
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Location
    Rotorua New Zealand
    Posts
    528

    Default

    Hey Jem,

    If you make it down here let me know..

    Don't worry we don't kill that many tourists with this gas.

    Just make sure you stay in a high rise hotel ten your perfectly OK. (lol)

    Whangarei is way north and well away from Rotorua so it doesn't even smell like us.

    Takes about a day to get used to the Rotorua smell (come here and you can just bottle our air and take it home).

    It plays merry hell with electronics ... yes there is a God !!!... hence my work in electronics. Devices die here all the time due this problem. PCB's coper wires silver etc all turn to dust real fast. We have to protect all PCB etc from the atmosphere before installing them in some parts of Rotorua.

    Hey Tocket thanks for the info' I guess you must be in the chemistry business ?

    Anyway Jem hope you make it down here.

    Cheers

    Ray

  4. #14
    Join Date
    Jan 2008
    Location
    Stockholm, Sweden
    Posts
    799

    Default

    You could say that... I'm a 4th year chemical engineering student.

    Currently working as lab assistant in an organic chemistry course; most things there have far more pleasant smells than hydrogen sulfide.

  5. #15
    Join Date
    Nov 2007
    Location
    Southampton, UK
    Posts
    458

    Default

    Stink Bombs used to be made from Ammonium Sulphide, a yellow liquid, as shown in the earlier photo. However, read this :

    http://msds.chem.ox.ac.uk/AM/ammoniu..._solution.html

    and you'll see why this type of stink bombs aren't widely available any more!

    If you want something that smells really horrible, look at ethyl mercaptan, aka ethanethiol - smells like skunk (the animal variety, not the other sort!!)

    http://msds.chem.ox.ac.uk/ET/ethanethiol.html


  6. #16
    Join Date
    Jan 2007
    Location
    Yorkshire, UK
    Posts
    4,581

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Pitts View Post
    If you make it down here let me know..
    Certainly will The only problem for me will be getting my wife on the plane, she doesn't like long haul flights. I think I may be able to persuede her by offering a short stay in Singapore for some serious shopping

    Don't worry we don't kill that many tourists with this gas.


    Just make sure you stay in a high rise hotel ten your perfectly OK. (lol)

    Whangarei is way north and well away from Rotorua so it doesn't even smell like us.
    If we're coming all that way i'm going to make it worthwhile and try to see as much of the two islands as possible. Whangarei and Rotorua are two definate stopping off points, I hope to be able to visit for at least three weeks

    Takes about a day to get used to the Rotorua smell (come here and you can just bottle our air and take it home).

    It plays merry hell with electronics ... yes there is a God !!!... hence my work in electronics. Devices die here all the time due this problem. PCB's coper wires silver etc all turn to dust real fast. We have to protect all PCB etc from the atmosphere before installing them in some parts of Rotorua.

    Hey Tocket thanks for the info' I guess you must be in the chemistry business ?

    Anyway Jem hope you make it down here.

    Cheers

    Ray
    Cheers Ray, don't wait up though, it could take us a couple of years to get around to it

    Jem
    Quote: "There is a theory which states that if ever, for any reason, anyone discovers what exactly the Universe is for and why it is here it will instantly disappear and be replaced by something even more bizarre and inexplicable. There is another that states that this has already happened.... Douglas Adams 1952 - 2001

  7. #17
    Join Date
    Dec 2006
    Location
    Riverside, CA
    Posts
    66

  8. #18
    Join Date
    Jan 2008
    Location
    Stockholm, Sweden
    Posts
    799

    Default

    Hmm... seems I missed one aspect of the matches and ammonia approach that can explain why (if) it works; time. Seeing now that the procedure specifies that the mixture should sit for at least a week it seems more plausible that ammonium sulfide can actually form.

    I have prepared a small experiment. In a small sealed plastic container 5.1g of pure elemental sulfur and 20ml of 25% ammonia solution was added. Let's see what happens (so far, bugger all).

    One potential problem with the instructions is that modern safety matches contain very little sulfur (if any at all). That's why I'm using pure sulfur.

  9. #19
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Location
    Rotorua New Zealand
    Posts
    528

    Default

    Hi again..

    Sad to say we have just had what looks like another death here from Hydrogen Sulphide gas in a pool (yesterday). This has happened before the gas can settle down just above the water level... and its goodnight nurse..

    Ray
    Rotorua
    NZ

  10. #20
    Join Date
    Jan 2007
    Location
    Yorkshire, UK
    Posts
    4,581

    Default

    Sorry to hear that Ray. What happened, was she swimming in the pool and the gas was at low level?

    Tocket
    Glad you're still on this thread, i'll look forward to your results

    Jem
    Quote: "There is a theory which states that if ever, for any reason, anyone discovers what exactly the Universe is for and why it is here it will instantly disappear and be replaced by something even more bizarre and inexplicable. There is another that states that this has already happened.... Douglas Adams 1952 - 2001

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •