Sulfur build up

Discussion in 'Grilling Tips' started by nosuchreality, May 5, 2016.

  1. nosuchreality

    nosuchreality Newbie

    A non-smoking question, hopefully you all know.

    I have a big box store propane grill that I've converted to natural gas. I'm having a problem with my burner shields.  I'm getting pretty good sulfur build up on them.  I've also cleaned out the burners themselves and had a small amount of the greenish yellow come out of the burners when I rinsed them out.  My burners shields have pretty good deposits.

    Is the the sulfur coming from my gas line or boiling out of the cheap metal (that seems to rust readily in the SoCal damp)?

    I can get replacement burner shields, but if it's the burners, why bother.  I'm likely on the last season for this grill has 

    Any ideas? Thanks.
  2. Hello.  You stated that you converted this unit.  Did you change the gas jets?  Propane and natural gas require different size jets to burn properly.

    "A sulphur build up on the gas shields."  So it smells of sulphur or that is just your description of what you are seeing?  I would be concerned that the gas shields were actually galvanised but you also say it looks like something in the burners.  Leads me back to wondering about the gas jets.  That exhausts my ideas.  Keep Smokin!

  3. nosuchreality

    nosuchreality Newbie

    Thanks for the reply.  Yes, I changed out the gas jets.  Adjusted the air intake to get proper burn. Etc.  I bought the natural gas conversion kit offered for the particular grill I had.

    Great, now I need to add that worry to my list of worries about stuff made overseas.  Everything is supposed to be stainless steel.  Which doesn't stop rust, just limits it.  Granted, these are five years old sitting out in coastal weather influenced Southern California.  Lots of misty cool mornings and damp overnight year with ocean influence.  Not as bad as when I lived closer to the beach, but still an influence.

    Anyway, here's a picture. Ugh, pretty gross looking, the top side doesn't look this bad. This is the back side.  This yellow (very yellow in person) is what I interpret as sulfur. Sat it on a paper towel to contrast.  I think it's time to change them out.

    Last edited: May 9, 2016
  4. daveomak

    daveomak Smoking Guru OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    Modern gas odorants can be divided into two basic groups. The “classic” sulfur-based

    odorants which are further subdivided to alkyl mercaptans, alkyl sulfides and cyclic sulfides

    and new types of sulfur-free odorants based on acrylates which are being introduced to the

    market in recent years and have their special potential especially in environmental issues

    due to the zero sulfur dioxide emissions after gas combustion.
  5. nosuchreality

    nosuchreality Newbie

    Dave, what's that in simplistic terms?  You think it's just sulfur build up over the years from the odorant in the gas?
  6. daveomak

    daveomak Smoking Guru OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    It could be... or, if they are making natural gas from coal, it could be in the gas...    What do they call that, gasified coal ???   Darned if I know..
  7. garyhibbert

    garyhibbert Smoking Guru OTBS Member ★ Lifetime Premier ★

    It could also just be the natural gas itself.  Do you know if the gas comes from a high sulpher field?  If it does, there's not much you can do about it.


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