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Last week there was a huge fire in french chemical factory Lubrizol, we now know the main products that burnt, to simplify the discussion I extracted a few compounds:

What kind of sulfur compounds should we expect to be emitted from pyrolysis and combustion of such organosulfur compounds?

Note the authorities claim the smoke analysis didn't show any $\ce{H2S}$ and that the $\ce{SO2}$ level wasn't higher than everyday measurements in cities.

There is a paper on the pyrolysis of polyethylenesulfide showing cyclization leads to a bunch of products, I wonder if it is applicable here (also I would like to know why no $\ce{H2S}$ is formed?)

enter image description here

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  • $\begingroup$ feel free to add any thoughts on combustion pyrolysis principles $\endgroup$ – reuns Oct 3 at 3:20
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I'd expect $\ce{H2O, CO, CO2}$, and $\ce{SO2}$ to be created during the combustion of these compounds. I'd wager a decent amount of $\ce{SO2}$ was created, but was diluted in the atmosphere.

Regarding $\ce{H2S}$, maybe it was produced, but then reacted according to the following:

$$\ce{H2S + O2 -> SO2 + H2O}$$

Additionally, there were probably a wide variety of odd sulfur compounds, but their existence was transient as they reacted to form $\ce{SO2}$ for instance. Furthermore, the authorities may not even be looking for these more complex molecules.

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  • $\begingroup$ I think it is contradictory with their analysis, also $SO_2$ is 2 times heavier than air even if the density is lowered by the high temperature of the fumes. In one of their analysis there is organosulfur $<10\mu g/m^3$, same for $SO_2$. I can't make it consistent with those hundred of tons of sulfur that burnt. Where should I search for references showing $SO_2$ is always formed when burning organosulfurs ? $\endgroup$ – reuns Oct 3 at 5:36
  • $\begingroup$ Also I was wondering if, due to the huge amount of fuels consuming all the $O_2$ in air, it would be more pyrolysis than combustion (it burnt for 12 hours so the temperature was extreme) $\endgroup$ – reuns Oct 3 at 5:41

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