Electronic nose to detect “Hydrogen Sulphide” from Sewers

What is the News?

Scientists from the Centre for Nano and Soft Matter Sciences(CeNS), Bangalore have developed Electronic Nose to detect Hydrogen Sulphide from swamps and sewers. CeNS is an autonomous institute of the Department of Science & Technology

About Hydrogen Sulphide:
  • Hydrogen Sulphide is the chemical compound with the formula H2S. It is a colourless chalcogen hydride gas. It is with the characteristic foul odour of rotten eggs. (Chacogen –  chalcogens are the chemical elements in group 16 of the periodic table).
  • Hydrogen Sulphide is slightly denser than air. It is also poisonous, corrosive and flammable.
Production of Hydrogen Sulphide:
  • Hydrogen sulfide is often produced from the microbial breakdown of organic matter in the absence of oxygen gas, such as in swamps and sewers. Anaerobic digestion is the name of this process.
  • It occurs naturally in crude oil, natural gas, and hot springs.
  • H2S also occurs in volcanic gases, natural gas and in some sources of well water.
  • The human body also produces small amounts of H2S and uses it as a signalling molecule.
Impact of Hydrogen Sulphide on Health:
  • Firstly, the health effects of hydrogen sulphide depend on how much H2S a person inhales and for how long.
  • Secondly, exposure to Hydrogen Sulphide include headaches, memory loss, and problems with the cardiovascular system.
  • However, many effects are seen even at low concentrations. Effects range from mild, headaches or eye irritation to very serious, unconsciousness and death.

Source: PIB

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