Uses Of Hydrogen

What is Hydrogen?

Hydrogen is a unique element of the periodic table due to its resemblance to alkali metals and the halogens. It is the first element of the periodic table and due to its uniqueness, it is placed separately. Let us look at some of the reasons because of which Hydrogen is so unique.

Properties Of Hydrogen:

There are many uses of hydrogen because of its dual nature and hence this element is very popular in the chemical industry. So, let us have a look at its properties and find the reasons for its dual character:

  1. Physical properties of Hydrogen:

    The hydrogen gas is colorless, odorless and tasteless in nature. It is a combustible gas but not a supporter of combustion. It is lighter than air and insoluble in water. It has an atomic mass of 1.008 amu and an ionization enthalpy of 1312 kJ mol-1.

  2. Chemical properties of Hydrogen:

    Chemical properties are largely determined by the bond disassociation enthalpy. Hydrogen molecule forms H-H bond, and this single bond has the highest bond enthalpy between two atoms of an element. Hydrogen is inert at room temperature due to its high bond enthalpy and, therefore, it is prepared at very high temperatures in an electric arc or under ultraviolet radiations. Hydrogen has an electronic configuration of 1s1, and so it can react either by losing an electron and forming a H+ ion, or gaining an electron and forming an H ion. Hydrogen shares electrons with other elements and forms a covalent bond.

Uses Of Hydrogen

Hydrogen Electronic Configuration

Reaction of Hydrogen with other elements:

Let us move on to the reaction of hydrogen with other elements:

  1. Reactions with the halogen family:

    Hydrogen reacts with halogens to give hydrogen halides.
    For example: \( H_2 (g) + X_2 (g) \rightarrow 2HX (g)\)

  2. Reaction with the oxygen molecule:

    Hydrogen reacts with the oxygen molecule to form water. This reaction is highly exothermic in nature.
    \(2H_2 (g) + O_2 (g) \rightarrow 2H_2O\) (l) ; Δ H =\( -285.9 kJ mol^{-1}\)

  3. Reaction with metals:

    Hydrogen reacts with different metals to form their respective hydrides.
    \( H_2 (g) + 2M (g) \rightarrow 2MH (s)\);;
    here M represents the alkali metals.

Uses of hydrogen:

Hydrogen finds a variety of application due to its dual nature. Following are some important uses of hydrogen:

  1. Hydrogen is used in the synthesis of ammonia and the manufacture of nitrogenous fertilizers.
  2. Hydrogenation of unsaturated vegetable oils for manufacturing vanaspati fat.
  3. It is used in the manufacture of many organic compounds, for example, methanol.
  4. Hydrogen chloride is a very useful chemical and is prepared from hydrogen.
  5. Hydrogen can reduce many metal oxides to metals by metallurgical processes.
  6. Hydrogen is used as a rocket fuel in many space research activities.
  7. Hydrogen fuel is being experimented with in the automotive industry with hydrogen fuel cells.

So far we have seen the various chemical and physical properties of hydrogen. It’s different uses and importance, for any further details on these topics kindly log to Byjus-The learning App and experience the art of learning difficult concepts in the most innovative ways.

Practise This Question

Syngas contains