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Related to mercaptan: ethyl mercaptan
thiol(thī`ōl), any of a class of organic compounds containing the group -SH bonded to a carbon atom. The volatile low-molecular-weight mercaptans have disagreeable odors. Mercaptans are found in crude petroleum, and methyl mercaptan is produced as a decay product of animal and vegetable matter. They also are produced by certain plants and animals; e.g., allyl mercaptan is released when onions are cut, butanethiol (butyl mercaptan) derivatives are present in skunk secretion, and mercaptans are among the sulfur compounds causing the disagreeable odor of flatus. T-butyl mercaptan blends are often added to the odorless natural gas used for cooking and serve to warn of gas leaks. Mercaptans take part in a wide variety of chemical reactions. Their principal uses are in jet fuels, pharmaceuticals, and livestock-feed additives.
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A group of organosulfur compounds that are derivatives of hydrogen sulfide in the same way that alcohols are derivatives of water; have a characteristically disagreeable odor, and are found with other sulfur compounds in crude petroleum; an example is methyl mercaptan. Also known as thiol.
McGraw-Hill Dictionary of Scientific & Technical Terms, 6E, Copyright © 2003 by The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc.