Hydrogen, the most abundant chemical element in the universe, can be put to many different uses. Read through this article and refresh your knowledge of basic chemistry.
The mere mention of the word ‘hydrogen’ teleports you back to a fourth grade science class. As impertinent as it may seem to the masses that aren’t aeronautical engineers or ardent members of the fading science clubs, hydrogen is an element life would be impossible without. When hydrogen burns, it combines with oxygen to form water, a primary requisite for survival. Doesn’t H2O ring a bell? As we all know, 75% of the universe’s fundamental mass is composed of hydrogen.
Proven to be tremendously flammable, hydrogen often triggers fires at temperatures of 560 °C. Due to its weightlessness, every trace of atmospheric hydrogen has vanished into outer space. Hence, hydrogen is generally obtained artificially, mainly through hydrocarbons. Invisible to the naked eye, this diatomic gas contains three isotopes - protium, deuterium and tritium (a radioactive substance that gradually decomposes into helium). Hydrogen comes freeloaded with numerous advantages that impel the world to move forward. Whether, for petroleum industries or nuclear reactors or basic existence, nobody can deny that hydrogen is indispensable! Scroll down to the bottom and enlighten yourself with the wonders of hydrogen!
Different Uses Of Hydrogen
Ever wondered how weather balloons fly? The answer is hydrogen. The atomic weight of a hydrogen atom is only 1 while that of an oxygen atom is 16, confirming that hydrogen is indeed much lighter than air. Observe how a hydrogen pumped balloon readily floats upwards into the sky. Originally labelled as ‘ideal’ for lifting lighter-than-air airships, hydrogen was used to thrust zeppelins into another country (popular in Germany) until the infamous ‘Hindenburg Crash’ manifested its highly flammable quality, rendering it unfeasibly dangerous. Hence, hydrogen was quickly replaced by helium because it doesn’t ignite hazardous sparks albeit twice as heavy as hydrogen gas.
Acids And Bases
Hydrogen is necessary for the production of ammonia (NH3), which is necessary for making fertilizers. Mixing hydrogen with nitrogen is the key to making strong ammonia. Researchers are attempting to create a process by which hydrogen can be separated from water through wind power, thereby quickening the development of be used in the production of fertilizers.
Nuclear Reactors And Hydrogen Bombs
The nuclei of hydrogen atoms mingle to produce helium nuclei when subject to extremely high temperatures. Through this fusion, a massive amount of energy is rapidly generated, popularly referred to as ‘thermal nuclear energy’. This lead to the birth of hydrogen bombs which are said to be far more powerful than an atomic bomb. The impact of a hydrogen bomb is frightening as it exudes a temperature as bad as that of the sun. Although, scientists draw closer and closer to finding means for harnessing this energy to create electric power that is less fatal to the earth, nuclear reactors dominate the research arena.
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