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Durham University

Department of Earth Sciences


Publication details for Prof. Claire Horwell

Horwell, C.J., Allen, A.G., Mather, T.A. & Patterson, J.E. (2004). Evaluation of a novel passive sampling technique for monitoring volcanogenic hydrogen sulphide. Journal of Environmental Monitoring 6(7): 630-635.

Author(s) from Durham


A novel, low-cost passive sampling procedure for monitoring of volcanogenic hydrogen sulfide is reported. The technique is based on absorption of H2S onto treated sections of photographic paper, which are housed in plastic film canisters during exposure. The H2S reacts with silver halide in the photographic paper, causing a colour-change reaction from white, through brown, to black, depending on concentration of atmospheric H2S. The sampler is sensitive to 30 ppb to 1000 ppb of H2S. Here we present results from a series of optimization and quantification experiments. An active sampling procedure for rapid H2S measurement is also reported, based on absorption of H2S onto Whatman No. 41 cellulose filters treated with silver nitrate, and was shown to be quantitative using a single filter at flow rates <1.0 L min–1 for collection of <200 µg of sulfide (as H2S). Determination of sulfide collected on the substrates was performed using a rapid flow-injection technique based on the fluorescence quenching of fluorescein mercuric acetate (FMA) by sulfide. This was optimized at a FMA concentration of 8 mg L–1, at which 100% quenching was obtained at a solution sulfide concentration of 3 mg L–1.