Hydrogen and Water What is H (Hydrogen)

Hydrogen and Water What is H (Hydrogen)

Hydrogen is an extremely flammable element yet the lightest one there is. This element has an atomic number of 1 because it has exactly 1 proton. It is actually half the weight of helium! Hydrogen is actually colorless, odorless, and tasteless. These facts can make it dangerous in that it’s hard to detect and can burn quickly but that danger factor is generally tossed out of the window given the fact it dissipates quickly into the environment. Another interesting fact about hydrogen is the fact that it is used in the commercial diving industry to allow divers to work at deeper depths while breathing a hydrogen-oxygen mixture called Hydrox. This mixture can actually have narcotic effects that can be deadly to the person breathing it if not monitored closely.

Hydrogen is all over our universe, in stars and planets. But down on Earth, it generally bonds with other elements. Actually, it bonds with three specific, electronegative elements: fluorine, nitrogen, and oxygen. Hydrogen and fluorine bonding create a chemical compound that can be gas or liquid. The liquid exists as a fuming liquid or can be dissolved in water to make hydrofluoric acid. Ammonia is created when hydrogen and nitrogen bond. There are two possibilities for bonds when hydrogen combines with oxygen: peroxide and water. The difference in the two is that peroxide has one more oxygen atom than water.

The greatest thing about hydrogen may be the fact that it DOES make water. No matter what happens to this element, it still burns clean. It leaves no carbon footprint and can be produced from many sources as a renewable fuel. Oddly enough, hydrogen and oxygen can’t just be thrown into a container and mixed up to make water. It would be pretty dangerous because well, hydrogen is flammable, and oxygen is a combustible. In other words, it would cause an explosion if there were even a spark. However, there is a process to split oxygen and hydrogen called electrolysis. It literally breaks water back down into its 2 original elements. This process is much easier than creating water, and much safer. It is done by using an electric current to break the bond.

Alternative fuels are in high demand and for good reason. Being that hydrogen is so readily available and easy to produce, people are looking toward this element for the future. Because it is flammable, it is great for combustion engines—from busses to space ships. It can send us to the moon because it’s incredibly light and has the highest combustion energy per pound. Using hydrogen as fuel really only produces clean water and energy. Many people wish they could run their cars on water or pay less for gas. The ‘water as fuel’ bit won’t work because it’s not combustible but paying less for gas IS possible as science moves forward with hydrogen as fuel. Water is another amazing clean source of energy in the form of hydroelectric power. Cities and states glean energy from the movement of water to help power homes, buildings, and other necessities. 

There is some talk of hydrogen-rich water. Reading beauty blogs and Amazon reviews, there might be genuine questions of if this ‘new’ type of water really works. The claims are many, mostly being of the anti-aging nature. Some assert that this water can help with insulin and blood pressure issues. It has been popular in Japan for decades and the government has even approved it to treat dehydration and infections. There is a ton of weak science behind it, all vaguely pointing to hydrogen-rich water being the new miracle drink. Though there probably isn’t any harm in consuming it, science is still shaky. Basically, water will probably never be replaced with something better, as it is already near-perfect for human consumption.

Overall, hydrogen makes for a clean burning gas and great source of energy. It is easy to create, store, and transport. It can only bond with 3 other elements, the most important of those being oxygen. Without this particular, perfect bond, it is possible the human race wouldn’t and couldn’t exist. Water is the combination of two elements bonded immaculately together; this substance gives life, clean electricity, and puts out the fires from combustions. But it all starts with the element hydrogen.