Volatile Sulfur

Last Updated: June 18, 2020

Definition - What does Volatile Sulfur mean?

Volatile sulfur consists of hydrogen sulfide, which produces a rotten egg smell, and methyl mercaptan, which has a barnyard smell. Volatile sulfur can be corrosive to certain metallic surfaces, with significant negative effects. Volatile sulfur is also known as a volatile sulfur compound (VSC), which is a significant contributor to industrial corrosion. The extent of the corrosion damage caused by sulfur in the laboratory, if left unchecked, can be so severe as to cause failure of experimental apparatus.

Corrosionpedia explains Volatile Sulfur

Volatile sulfur compounds are found in refined transformer oil, although not all types are known to be corrosive or reactive.

In addition to originating in industrial applications, volatile sulfur is also produced by bacteria in the mouth, causing a condition known as halitosis. Volatile sulfur can be produced by bacteria that do not need oxygen to survive and contain sulfuric compounds.

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