Hydrogen

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Position and Occurence of Hydrogen

Hydrogen is the first element in the periodic table and has the atomic number of 1. It has an atomic mass of 1.008 g/mol. It is a colorless, odourless, nonmetallic, tasteless, and highly flammable diatomic gas. It was first discovered by Henry Cavendish in 1766. The name hydrogen comes from Greek word for water, which is Hydrogen (H2O). It is the most abundant element in the universe. It is the main component of the Sun and stars. It is the fifth most abundant element in the universe.

Hydrogen is very light. It is the lightest of all gases. It is so light that it is lighter than helium. The boiling point of hydrogen is 13.8 Kelvin. The melting point of hydrogen is 20.28 K. It is a diatomic gas. It is the smallest molecule. It is also a monatomic gas.

Laboratory Method of Preparation of Dihydrogen

  • In laboratory dihydrogen is prepared by reaction of Zn with dilute HCl which on reaction gives Zinc ion and Dihydrogen gas.
  • It is also prepared by reaction of Zinc with Sodium Hydroxide which gives Sodium Zincate and Dihydrogen.

Commercial Method of Production of Dihydrogen

  • A small amount of dihydrogen gas produced from the electrolysis of water. It is produced by splitting water into its components, hydrogen and oxygen, at an electrical current of 2.4 mA/cm2. The reaction must be done at a high temperature. The hydrogen gas can be condensed back into H2O.
  • Most purified form of dihydrogen is obtained by electrolysing warm water and barium hydroxide solution with nickel electrodes.
  • In the coal gasification process, the coal is heated to the temperature of its melting point. The temperature is maintained at a constant level to ensure that the coal does not melt and flows freely. The coal is then allowed to react with steam. This produces a product known as synthesis gas.
  • The synthesis gas is then passed over a catalyst to produce steam and carbon monoxide. In the final stage, hydrogen is produced. It is used in the chemical industry, for running vehicular engines and for running gas turbines.

Chemical Properties of Hydrogen

  • The atomic number of hydrogen is 1.
  • The atomic mass of hydrogen is 1.007825 amu (atomic mass unit).
  • The electron configuration of hydrogen is 1s1.
  • The ground state term symbol of hydrogen is 1S.
  • The relative atomic mass of hydrogen is 1.007825.
  • The relative molecular mass of hydrogen is 2.016.
  • The melting point of hydrogen is -259.14 °C.
  • It is highly flammable gas with a density of 0.078 g/L at 20 °C and 0.089 g/L at 70 °C.

Uses of Hydrogen

  • It is used in rocket fuel and nuclear power plants.
  • Hydrogen gas is used in making hydrogen peroxide, which is used in bleaching and to keep teeth clean.
  • Hydrogen is used in making ammonia, which is used in making fertilizers.
  • Hydrogen is used in making methanol, which is used in making medicines.
  • Hydrogen gas is also used for the treatment of burning sensation in the skin of a patient. Hydrogen gas is used in the treatment of this condition.
  • Hydrogen is also used in the treatment of high blood pressure. We can make the blood vessels dilated by using hydrogen gas.
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