Flow-through electrodes make hydrogen 50 times faster

Electrolysis, passing a current through water to break it into gaseous hydrogen and oxygen, could be a handy way to store excess energy from wind or solar power. The hydrogen can be stored and used as fuel later, when the ...

A study analyzes the unexpected behavior of hydrogen flames

Hydrogen flames can propagate even with very little fuel, within surprisingly narrow gaps and can extend breaking up into fractal patterns. That is the unexpected physical behavior of this gas when it burns, which has been ...

Technique could enable cheaper fertilizer production

Most of the world's fertilizer is produced in large manufacturing plants, which require huge amounts of energy to generate the high temperatures and pressures needed to combine nitrogen and hydrogen into ammonia.

Gas storage method could help next-generation clean energy vehicles

A research team led by Northwestern University has designed and synthesized new materials with ultrahigh porosity and surface area for the storage of hydrogen and methane for fuel cell-powered vehicles. These gases are attractive ...

Discovery points to origin of mysterious ultraviolet radiation

Billions of lightyears away, gigantic clouds of hydrogen gas produce a special kind of radiation, a type of ultraviolet light known as Lyman-alpha emissions. The enormous clouds emitting the light are Lyman-alpha blobs (LABs). ...

Chemists develop safer hydrogenation processes

Safe and environmentally-friendly hydrogen gas on demand could be on the horizon following a new "hydrogenation" chemical process in development at The City College of New York. Led by Mahesh K. Lakshman, the research uniquely ...

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Hydrogen

Hydrogen (pronounced /ˈhaɪdrədʒən/) is the chemical element with atomic number 1. It is represented by the symbol H. At standard temperature and pressure, hydrogen is a colorless, odorless, nonmetallic, tasteless, highly flammable diatomic gas with the molecular formula H2. With an atomic weight of 1.00794 u, hydrogen is the lightest element.

Hydrogen is the most abundant chemical element, constituting roughly 75% of the universe's elemental mass. Stars in the main sequence are mainly composed of hydrogen in its plasma state. Elemental hydrogen is relatively rare on Earth. Industrial production is from hydrocarbons such as methane with most being used "captively" at the production site. The two largest uses are in fossil fuel processing (e.g., hydrocracking) and ammonia production mostly for the fertilizer market. Hydrogen may be produced from water by electrolysis at substantially greater cost than production from natural gas.

The most common isotope of hydrogen is protium (name rarely used, symbol H) with a single proton and no neutrons. In ionic compounds it can take a negative charge (an anion known as a hydride and written as H−), or as a positively-charged species H+. The latter cation is written as though composed of a bare proton, but in reality, hydrogen cations in ionic compounds always occur as more complex species. Hydrogen forms compounds with most elements and is present in water and most organic compounds. It plays a particularly important role in acid-base chemistry with many reactions exchanging protons between soluble molecules. As the only neutral atom with an analytic solution to the Schrödinger equation, the study of the energetics and bonding of the hydrogen atom played a key role in the development of quantum mechanics.

Hydrogen is important in metallurgy as it can embrittle many metals, complicating the design of pipelines and storage tanks. Hydrogen is highly soluble in many rare earth and transition metals and is soluble in both nanocrystalline and amorphous metals. Hydrogen solubility in metals is influenced by local distortions or impurities in the crystal lattice.

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