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ethyl mercaptan

Product name ethyl mercaptan
Synonyms ethanthiol
GOST no data
CAS 75-08-1

Ethyl mercaptan is a clear, colorless, volatile, flammable liquid with a very strong, desagreeable odor. The human sensory threshold for ethanethiol smell is 2*10-9 mg/l. Ethyl mercaptan is soluble in most organic solvents, but only slightly soluble in water. It exists in monomer form in diluted solutions and forms linear dimers S-H...S due to hydrogen bonds in concentrated solutions. It can be easily oxidized resulting in different products, depending on process conditions. It forms diethylsulfoxide (C2H5)2SO being treated with oxygen in alkali medium; reaction with activated MnO2 or hydrogen peroxide leads to diethyl disulfide (C2H5)SS(C2H5). Ethyl mercaptan decomposes in gaseous phase at 400°C to form hydrogen sulfide H2S and ethylene.

Ethanethiol is a significant odorous component of skunk musk.


Commercially ethyl mercaptan is produced by the reaction of hydrogen sulfide with ethanol at 300-350°C in the presence of catalysts.

C2H5OH + H2S --> C2H5SH + H2O


  • as a natural gas, propane, butane, and other fuel gases odorant. Humans can detect the smell of ethanethiol in very low concentrations. Therefore it is added in minute quantities to fuel gases which are used for cooking and heating to give the normally odorless fuels a distinctive and easily noticed smell to serve as a warning of a gas leak.
  • as a starting material or an intermediate in the manufacture of some plastics, insecticides, and antioxidants.

  • Manufacturer(s) no data
    Chemical structure of ethyl mercaptan

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