Ammonium hydrosulfide

Ammonium hydrosulfide is the chemical compound with the formula (NH4)HS.

Ammonium hydrosulfide
IUPAC name
ammonium hydrosulfide
Other names
ammonium bisulfide
ammonium hydrogen sulfide
3D model (JSmol)
ECHA InfoCard 100.031.974
EC Number
  • 235-184-3
RTECS number
  • BS4900000
UN number 2683
Molar mass 51.111 g/mol
Appearance Yellow-orange fuming liquid.
Density 1.17 g/cm3[1]
Boiling point 56.6 °C (133.9 °F; 329.8 K)
Solubility soluble in alcohol, liquid ammonia, liquid hydrogen sulfide; insoluble in benzene, hexane and ether
Main hazards Toxic
GHS pictograms
GHS Signal word Danger
H314, H400.
P260, P264, P273, P280, P301+330+331, P303+361+353, P304+340, P305+351+338, P310, P321, P363, P391, P405, P501
NFPA 704 (fire diamond)
Lethal dose or concentration (LD, LC):
168 mg/kg (rat, oral)[2]
Related compounds
Other anions
Ammonia solution
Other cations
Sodium hydrosulfide
Except where otherwise noted, data are given for materials in their standard state (at 25 °C [77 °F], 100 kPa).
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Infobox references


It is the salt derived from the ammonium cation and the hydrosulfide anion. The salt exists as colourless, water-soluble, micaceous crystals. On Earth the compound is encountered mainly as a solution, not as the solid, but NH4SH ice is believed to be a substantial component of the cloud decks of the gas-giant planets Jupiter and Saturn, with sulfur produced by its photolysis responsible for the color of some of those planets' clouds. It can be generated by mixing hydrogen sulfide and ammonia.


Solutions of ammonium hydrosulfide can be prepared by passing hydrogen sulfide gas through concentrated ammonia solution.[3] According to a detailed 1895 report, hydrogen sulfide reacts with concentrated aqueous ammonia solution at room temperature to give (NH4)2S·2NH4HS. When this species is cooled to 0 °C and treated with additional hydrogen sulfide, one obtains (NH4)2S·12NH4HS.[4] An ice-cold solution of this substance kept at 0 °C and having hydrogen sulfide continually passed through it gives the hydrosulfide.

The common "stink bomb" consists of an aqueous solution of ammonium sulfide. The mixture easily converts to ammonia and hydrogen sulfide gases. This conversion illustrates the ease of the following equilibrium:

(NH4)SH NH3 + H2S

Ammonia and hydrogen sulfide each have a powerful and unpleasant smell.

"Ammonium sulfide"

Aqueous solutions of ammonium sulfide (CAS registry number 12135-76-1), also known as diammonium sulfide are commercially available, although the composition of these solutions is uncertain as they could consist of a mixture of ammonia and (NH4)SH. Ammonium sulfide solutions are used occasionally in photographic developing, to apply patina to bronze, and in textile manufacturing. Also, due to its offensive smell, it is the active ingredient in a variety of pranks including the common stink bomb. It can be used as a selective reducing agent (cf 2,4-Dinitrochlorobenzene), where there are two nitro groups only one of them is selectively reduced.


  1. Pradyot Patnaik. Handbook of Inorganic Chemicals. McGraw-Hill, 2002, ISBN 0-07-049439-8
  2. Record of ammonium hydrosulfide in the GESTIS Substance Database of the Institute for Occupational Safety and Health, accessed on October 22, 2010.
  3. Goodman, J. T.; Rauchfuss, T. B. (2002). "Tetraethylammonium-tetrathioperrhenate [Et4N][ReS4]". Inorganic Syntheses. 33: 107–110. doi:10.1002/0471224502.ch2.
  4. W. P. Bloxam (1895). "The Sulphides and Polysulphides of Ammonium". J. Chem. Soc., Trans. 67: 283. doi:10.1039/CT8956700277.
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