Mercaptan is used in the natural gas industry as an odorant, due to its ideal compatibility with methane. Its characteristic "rotten eggs" smell is widely known by natural gas customers as an indicator of a possible gas leak, even a very minute one.
Hassan Montazer Torbati, the CO of the Gas Engineering and Development Company, said production procedure of the item was first developed by the Research Center of Petroleum Industry (RIPI) and is currently being used in the country's gas refineries.
He said previously the odorant was imported to the country but is now being supplied domestically making Iran the third producer of the item in the world.
RIPI has licensed a unit which supplies 800 tons per year of the item domestically and exports its surplus output.