In the lecture slides for Analytical Chemistry I am going through right now, for the qualitative analysis of metal cations, in the hydrogen sulfide separation group, there is something that wonders me.

It says to add hydrogen sulfide in acetone (to an acidic solution). I tried to find papers on the solubility of $\ce{H2S}$ in acetone, but found nothing appropriate. I also found no description of the procedure that would use acetone except this one. I then wondered if maybe what they mean is using acetone to produce thioacetone for safer storage, or maybe something like thioacetamide to produce the sulfide in situ? Or maybe they really meant acetate as acid buffer?

The $\ce{H2S}$ acetone is mentioned in two places in the cation separation. The lecture mostly it focuses on modern techniques like mass spectrometry, so I am wondering if they had a typo there. I might write the professor, but I already wrote them a lot of things so I am a bit hesitant.

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    $\begingroup$ Produce thioacetone for safer storage? I guess you dunno much about thioacetone. $\endgroup$
    – Mithoron
    Feb 13 at 21:34
  • $\begingroup$ I truly don't. Thanks for pointing that out! I just checked what I could have meant, and it is thioacetamide. $\endgroup$
    – Selenimoon
    Feb 16 at 9:17

1 Answer 1


The solubility of both ammonia and hydrogen sulfide in various polar solvents is reported by Short et al1. The table below, from this reference, gives values as volumes of gas per unit volume of solvent (L) and mole fraction at one atmosphere (x).

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See also this answer, in which the solubility of hydrogen sulfide in water is reported greater than that of methane because of the polarizability of the large sulfur atom.


  1. Irena Short, Ashok Sahgal, and Walter Hayduk (1983). "Solubility of ammonia and hydrogen sulfide in several polar solvents". J. Chem. Eng. Data 28, 1, 63–66. https://doi.org/10.1021/je00031a019
  • $\begingroup$ Thank you a lot! Both for the reference and your other answer which gives a very helpful explanation! $\endgroup$
    – Selenimoon
    Feb 13 at 6:27

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