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(Austin News KXAN)   What's that odd smell in the Austin air? Well, you're in Texas so take a wild guess   (kxan.com) divider line
    More: Awkward, natural gas-like smell, Olfaction, Odor, Petroleum, Smell, Natural gas, sulfur smell collects, Wind  
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4357 clicks; posted to Main » on 02 Dec 2020 at 10:40 AM (6 weeks ago)   |   Favorite    |   share:  Share on Twitter share via Email Share on Facebook



38 Comments     (+0 »)
 
View Voting Results: Smartest and Funniest
 
2020-12-02 8:49:29 AM  
It's like the old joke: How do you get to Texas? Head Southwest (Or southeast, if you're a best coaster) until you smell shiat - That's Oklahoma.  Turn south and go until you step in it - That's Texas.
 
2020-12-02 9:40:20 AM  
I think it is amazing that we now have adults that don't recognize that smell.  If you can remember the 70s and early 80s, those damn pumps (that were the largest producer of said smells) were everywhere...even in big cities.  They are way less now so the smell is less common.

And the same goes for storage and refineries.  Pasadena, TX, is still called "Stinkadena" because of the drive down 225 from 610.  It no longer smells that way even though there are still refineries and a goodyear plant all along 225.
 
2020-12-02 9:48:35 AM  
I was going to say Brisket, but the article was more interesting. I lives in the LA area in the late 70s/early 80s and still have smell memories of the SoCal oilfields from when I was 3 years old. It's as distinct as driving past a pulp mill or a rendering plant...you don't forget it easily.
 
2020-12-02 10:42:54 AM  
Is it COVID?

/I bet it's COVID
 
2020-12-02 10:43:31 AM  
I was gonna say Ted Cruz...
 
2020-12-02 10:43:57 AM  
I lived in West-bygawd-Texas for 3 years.... some days you rooted for the oil fields, other days you rooted for the cattle pens & slaughterhouse
 
2020-12-02 10:44:17 AM  
It smells that way in southeast New Mexico too.  And then the odors blend with the odors of refineries and dairies to create a shiatstorm.
 
2020-12-02 10:44:34 AM  
Austin has been embarrassing since the late 90's.

It used to be a fun place to go when it was just a little college town.
 
2020-12-02 10:45:11 AM  
Since it's Austin, I'm gonna guess Patchouli.
 
2020-12-02 10:45:24 AM  

NM Volunteer: It smells that way in southeast New Mexico too.  And then the odors blend with the odors of refineries and dairies to create a shiatstorm.


Using a open flame not a good idea?
 
2020-12-02 10:46:14 AM  
And all the ranchers out there whine about wind mills.  But are totally fine with a stinky oil well flaring off.
 
2020-12-02 10:48:27 AM  
The smell of an oil field reminds me of visiting my family in Texas.  That and my dad slamming on the brakes when driving through a town known for speed traps
 
2020-12-02 10:49:52 AM  
That's the smell of money. None for you. Ha ha Ha Ha Ha Ha Ha.
 
2020-12-02 10:50:06 AM  

Random Anonymous Blackmail: NM Volunteer: It smells that way in southeast New Mexico too.  And then the odors blend with the odors of refineries and dairies to create a shiatstorm.

Using a open flame not a good idea?


What I don't get is why people are so opposed to masks down here.  Depending on the direction and speed of the winds, it isn't just odors, but also dust and fecal matter blowing from the dairies.
 
2020-12-02 10:51:36 AM  

OdradekRex: It's like the old joke: How do you get to Texas? Head Southwest (Or southeast, if you're a best coaster) until you smell shiat - That's Oklahoma.  Turn south and go until you step in it - That's Texas.


HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHHAHA SO FUNNY!

i.pinimg.comView Full Size
 
2020-12-02 10:53:54 AM  
Another plant going to blow up soon?
 
2020-12-02 10:57:25 AM  

Tenga: Since it's Austin, I'm gonna guess Patchouli.


Anymore you'll smell A LOT more bum piss than patchouli in Austin. It isn't what it used to be. People used to be all worried it would turn into Houston, now it's looking more like the tenderloin.
 
2020-12-02 10:58:21 AM  
It's money, right? That's what money smells like.
Texas has it. Our states don't.
This thread is what jealously smells like.
 
2020-12-02 10:58:35 AM  
Mercaptans, aka organic thiols, are a fairly common product of natural organic chemistry because it's literally just a sulfide group attached to a short organic molecule by whatever process.

Their defining feature in the practical sense is that humans are really sensitive to them.  In the sensory sense of "sensitive", not the "health" sense, it actually takes a super high, concentrated dose to harm you outright.  But a human nose can detect the stuff in absurdly tiny, basically vanishing quantities, and if you're exposed to it in concentration you'll be tasting it for a damned week.

This is why it's the "natural gas smell".  Natural gas is completely odorless, we intentionally add mercaptans (usually ethyl or methyl mercaptan) to natgas artificially as a safety feature, because you can add so little to it that for all practical purposes (even in most laboratory contexts where purity is important) you've added nothing to your pure CH4 gas... but if it leaks everyone will notice.

So... yeah, this neighborhood is getting doused in doses of a chemical that we literally use as a farking warning sign to make other normally-undetectable hazardous gases detectable, of course they're calling it in.  I would hope that this story is literally just a repeat they post every December because people always start calling in around this time... if people stop calling in that smell it's kind of a bad sign for the safety procedure in that area in the future, if someone's gas line does leak.
 
2020-12-02 10:58:50 AM  
Ah that smell lets you know you're getting a lung full of cancer.
 
2020-12-02 11:04:07 AM  

Jim_Callahan: Mercaptans, aka organic thiols, are a fairly common product of natural organic chemistry because it's literally just a sulfide group attached to a short organic molecule by whatever process.

Their defining feature in the practical sense is that humans are really sensitive to them.  In the sensory sense of "sensitive", not the "health" sense, it actually takes a super high, concentrated dose to harm you outright.  But a human nose can detect the stuff in absurdly tiny, basically vanishing quantities, and if you're exposed to it in concentration you'll be tasting it for a damned week.

This is why it's the "natural gas smell".  Natural gas is completely odorless, we intentionally add mercaptans (usually ethyl or methyl mercaptan) to natgas artificially as a safety feature, because you can add so little to it that for all practical purposes (even in most laboratory contexts where purity is important) you've added nothing to your pure CH4 gas... but if it leaks everyone will notice.

So... yeah, this neighborhood is getting doused in doses of a chemical that we literally use as a farking warning sign to make other normally-undetectable hazardous gases detectable, of course they're calling it in.  I would hope that this story is literally just a repeat they post every December because people always start calling in around this time... if people stop calling in that smell it's kind of a bad sign for the safety procedure in that area in the future, if someone's gas line does leak.


I figured it was probably H2S myself. You can smell it at less than 1 ppm. And generally if you can smell it you don't need to worry. If you're in a known atmosphere and you can't smell it you have issues.
 
2020-12-02 11:19:08 AM  
I'm sorry. I had baked beans last night.
 
2020-12-02 11:28:15 AM  
Mexico?
 
2020-12-02 11:30:04 AM  
It's weed, right?
 
2020-12-02 11:30:50 AM  

great_tigers: OdradekRex: It's like the old joke: How do you get to Texas? Head Southwest (Or southeast, if you're a best coaster) until you smell shiat - That's Oklahoma.  Turn south and go until you step in it - That's Texas.

HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHHAHA SO FUNNY!

[i.pinimg.com image 850x445]


encrypted-tbn0.gstatic.comView Full Size

Isn't it though.
 
2020-12-02 11:33:38 AM  

Representative of the unwashed masses: Jim_Callahan: Mercaptans, aka organic thiols, are a fairly common product of natural organic chemistry because it's literally just a sulfide group attached to a short organic molecule by whatever process.

Their defining feature in the practical sense is that humans are really sensitive to them.  In the sensory sense of "sensitive", not the "health" sense, it actually takes a super high, concentrated dose to harm you outright.  But a human nose can detect the stuff in absurdly tiny, basically vanishing quantities, and if you're exposed to it in concentration you'll be tasting it for a damned week.

This is why it's the "natural gas smell".  Natural gas is completely odorless, we intentionally add mercaptans (usually ethyl or methyl mercaptan) to natgas artificially as a safety feature, because you can add so little to it that for all practical purposes (even in most laboratory contexts where purity is important) you've added nothing to your pure CH4 gas... but if it leaks everyone will notice.

So... yeah, this neighborhood is getting doused in doses of a chemical that we literally use as a farking warning sign to make other normally-undetectable hazardous gases detectable, of course they're calling it in.  I would hope that this story is literally just a repeat they post every December because people always start calling in around this time... if people stop calling in that smell it's kind of a bad sign for the safety procedure in that area in the future, if someone's gas line does leak.

I figured it was probably H2S myself. You can smell it at less than 1 ppm. And generally if you can smell it you don't need to worry. If you're in a known atmosphere and you can't smell it you have issues.


Username sorta checks out?
 
2020-12-02 11:39:12 AM  
Fark user imageView Full Size
 
2020-12-02 11:49:32 AM  
Good grief, it's Hydrogen Sulfide and Sulfur dioxide; anywhere there's an oil well, that shiat seeps out. The further west you go in Texass the worse it gets. The roads between Odessa and Andrews are almost unsurvivable some days because it's so heavy with the H2S. Large swaths of SE New Mexico are equally bad or worse, especially headed up into Artesia.

It's either that or all the giant assholes; the only thing that's "bigger" in Texass is the hubris and the assholes.
 
2020-12-02 12:25:37 PM  

Watubi: The smell of an oil field reminds me of visiting my family in Texas.  That and my dad slamming on the brakes when driving through a town known for speed traps


Swap plastics plant for oil field and you've perfectly encapsulated visits to my gran in Pennsylvania.
 
2020-12-02 12:46:14 PM  
I have smelled that before. It would never occur to me to call police or FD to report it though.

Guess it's a new thing for the 2 million people who moved here in the past year.
 
2020-12-02 12:46:29 PM  
the smell of buns a-flexin' ?
 
2020-12-02 1:28:58 PM  

NikolaiFarkoff: I was going to say Brisket, but the article was more interesting. I lives in the LA area in the late 70s/early 80s and still have smell memories of the SoCal oilfields from when I was 3 years old. It's as distinct as driving past a pulp mill or a rendering plant...you don't forget it easily.


A pulp mill. Easily the worst smelling town I visited was Perry, FL. I grew up with those pumps in TX and Perry had them all beat.

/lovely KOA, tho.
 
2020-12-02 1:32:01 PM  
Maybe we can send folks there to test for Covid symptoms instead of sending them Yankee candles.
 
2020-12-02 2:14:01 PM  
Before I clicked, my guess was Luling.  Since I got something right, I should quit for the day.
 
2020-12-02 2:38:18 PM  

Tonto's Expanding Headband: I have smelled that before. It would never occur to me to call police or FD to report it though.

Guess it's a new thing for the 2 million people who moved here in the past year.


Hey, I still have your album somewhere!
 
2020-12-02 2:51:49 PM  
When I lived in East Vancouver it could either be a rendering plant, chicken packer, or a fish dumpster depending on the precise wind direction.
 
2020-12-02 2:59:13 PM  
Finally, a reason to wear these masks people are giving me
 
2020-12-02 5:16:34 PM  

thespindrifter: Good grief, it's Hydrogen Sulfide and Sulfur dioxide; anywhere there's an oil well, that shiat seeps out. The further west you go in Texass the worse it gets. The roads between Odessa and Andrews are almost unsurvivable some days because it's so heavy with the H2S. Large swaths of SE New Mexico are equally bad or worse, especially headed up into Artesia.

It's either that or all the giant assholes; the only thing that's "bigger" in Texass is the hubris and the assholes.


I remember driving through the Sweetwater area a few years back and being astounded at the stench. Ironically, Sweetwater is also known as a home for a huge windfarm. Driving back through it a few days later at dusk, the sight of hundreds of windmills stretched to the horizon, all turning majestically while their red warning lights blinked in synch was beautiful in an unearthly way. Still stunk like hell.
 
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