Give Now

A Moment of Science

Gas Is Odorless

A chemical commonly used for this is called mercaptin. The process of adding the stink is called stenching.

natural gas pipeline in grass

Photo: Ari Moore (Flickr)

Gas is odorless but company's add sulfur smell to it.

Natural gas is made up mostly of methane, which doesn’t smell. In order for us to snuff out potentially dangerous gas leaks, stinky sulfur compounds have to be added to natural gas. A chemical commonly used for this is called mercaptin. The process of adding the stink is called stenching.

Rhinoanalyst

Rhino comes from the Greek for nose. And after instruments indicate that the added sulfur compounds have made the gas sufficiently stinky, rhino-analysts use their uniquely sensitive sniffers to make the final check before the gas goes out into the local mains.

Stay Connected

What is RSS? RSS makes it possible to subscribe to a website's updates instead of visiting it by delivering new posts to your RSS reader automatically. Choose to receive some or all of the updates from A Moment of Science:

Support for Indiana Public Media Comes From

About A Moment of Science

Search A Moment of Science