Which chemical element has no color, odor, taste, and also is a gaseous flammable substance? If you haven’t missed any chemistry classes you surely know the answer- Hydrogen (H)! Known as an essential element of life hydrogen is present in water and in almost all living things’ molecules. The planet Jupiter is comprised mostly of hydrogen, and the element is also found in the sun and most of the stars. Interesting right!
To refresh your memories from the chemistry lab, we’ve prepared these interesting facts about hydrogen that just might surprise you…
Hydrogen burns with oxygen to form water, H2O, so no wonder the name is derived from Greek words meaning “maker of water.”
On Earth, hydrogen is found in the highest quantities as water.
In 1671, Robert Boyle produced hydrogen gas while experimenting with iron and acids, but he didn’t identify it as an element.
In 1766 Henry Cavendish recognized hydrogen as a distinct element. He called his invention “inflammable air”.
In 1783 the French chemist Antoine Lavoisier was the one who named the element hydrogen.
In 1783, in Paris, the first gas balloon flight was launched with the help of hydrogen gas.
The most widespread element in the universe is hydrogen.
On Earth, hydrogen is a promising source of “clean” fuel.
Hydrogen makes up more than 90 % of all of the atoms, which equals three-quarters of the mass of the universe.
Occurring in the stars hydrogen powers the universe through the proton-proton reaction and carbon-nitrogen cycle.
Stellar hydrogen fusion courses release huge amounts of energy as they combine hydrogen atoms to form helium.
Pure hydrogen gas can rarely be found in Earth’s atmosphere and if any hydrogen enters the atmosphere it quickly escapes Earth’s gravity.
On Earth hydrogen occurs mostly in combination with oxygen and water, as well as organic substances like living plants, petroleum, and coal.
Hydrogen has three common isotopes: protium, deuterium, and tritium. The distinction between the three isotopes lies in the number of neutrons.
Hydrogen has no neutrons, deuterium has one, while tritium has two neutrons.
Deuterium and tritium are used as fuel in nuclear fusion reactors.
If joined with other elements hydrogen forms water, ammonia, methane, table sugar, hydrogen peroxide, and hydrochloric acid.
Hydrogen is usually created by heating natural gas with steam to form a mixture of hydrogen and carbon monoxide- syngas, which is then divided to produce hydrogen.
Hydrogen gas can also be created by reacting metal with acid.
Hydrogen is the lightest of the elements.
At room temperature and pressure hydrogen gas is 14 times lighter than air.
It’s extremely flammable when mixed with oxygen. The famous Hindenburg airship disaster occurred because of burning hydrogen gas.
Hydrogen’s positive ions are called hydrons and the hydrogen’s negative ions are hydrides.
About 10 % of the weight of living organisms is hydrogen – mostly in water, proteins, and fats.
Hydrogen in liquid form has the lowest density of any liquid.
Hydrogen in solid, crystalline form has the lowest density of any crystalline solid.
The only element that can exist without neutrons is hydrogen.
Hydrogen’s most abundant isotope has no neutrons.
The only hydrogen’s antimatter element made so far is antihydrogen synthesized at CERN which lasted almost 17 minutes.
One of the three elements produced in the Big Bang is believed to be hydrogen accompanied by helium and lithium.
Most of the energy on our planet comes from hydrogen. The Sun’s nuclear fires transform hydrogen into helium discharging a large amount of energy.
The only atom for which the Schrödinger equation has an exact solution is hydrogen.
Extremely cold, liquefied hydrogen can cause harsh frostbite in contact with our skin.
Annually in the United States are produced about 3 billion cubic feet of hydrogen.
Combined with the elements of oxygen, chlorine, and fluorine hydrogen reacts explosively.
Hydrogen is used to create ammonia for fertilizer, in a Haber process, in which it is reacted with nitrogen.
Hydrogen is added to fats and oils, like peanut oil, through a procedure known as hydrogenation.
Hydrogen can be used as rocket fuel, for welding, producing hydrochloric acid, decreasing metallic ores, and filling balloons.
Scientists have been developing hydrogen fuel cell technology that enables obtaining large amounts of electrical power using hydrogen gas as a pollution-free energy supplier that can be used as fuel for cars and other vehicles.
In the glass industry hydrogen is used as a shielding atmosphere for making flat glass sheets.
In the electronics industry, hydrogen is used as a flushing gas in the process of manufacturing silicon chips.
Do you have any interesting or fun facts about hydrogen that we’ve missed? Share them here in the comments section below!