This “horse” stinks … what is it?

Posted By on April 24, 2012

PhotoWell it looked like a horse to me … but since my wife is the one with the chemistry background I don’t feel so bad. This structure is for CH3CH2SH or the organic compound Ethanethiol (EtSH), commonly known as ethyl mercaptan. It is most notably added to liquified petroleum gas  (LPG) to help warn of gas leaks.  According to Wikipedia, Ethanethiol has a strongly disagreeable odor that humans can detect in minute concentrations. The threshold for human detection is as low as one part in 2.8 billion parts of air. Its odor resembles that of leeks or onions. Ethanethiol is intentionally added to butaneand propane (see: LPG) to impart an easily noticed smell to these normally odorless fuels that pose the threat of fire or explosion.

According to the 2000 edition of the Guinness Book Of World Records, ethanethiol is the “smelliest substance” in existence.”


Desultory - des-uhl-tawr-ee, -tohr-ee

  1. lacking in consistency, constancy, or visible order, disconnected; fitful: desultory conversation.
  2. digressing from or unconnected with the main subject; random: a desultory remark.
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