Science Fair Project Encyclopedia
Thiols are similar to alcohols, with the oxygen of the hydroxyl group -OH being replaced by a sulfur atom. (Oxygen and sulfur have similar chemical properties, as they belong to the same periodic table group.) Thiols form thioethers, thioacetals and thioesters, in which the alcohol-derived oxygen atom is replaced by a sulfur atom.
Many thiols are colorless liquids having an odor resembling that of garlic. The odor is strong and repulsive. Thiols bind strongly to skin proteins, and are responsible for the intolerable, persistent odor produced by the spraying of skunks.
- The preferred method (used by the IUPAC) is to add the suffix -thiol to the name of the alkane. Example: CH3SH would be methanethiol.
- An older method, the word mercaptan replaces alcohol in the name of the equivalent alcohol compound. Example: CH3SH would be methyl mercaptan.
Examples of thiols:
- Mercaptan, by The Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia
- What is Mercaptan?, by Columbia Gas of Pennsylvania and Maryland
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