Business

Predicting the sustainability of a future hydrogen economy

As renewable energy sources like wind and solar ramp up, they can be used to sustainably generate hydrogen fuel. But implementing such a strategy on a large scale requires land and water dedicated to this purpose.

Energy & Green Tech

Making hydrogen from waste plastic could pay for itself

Hydrogen is viewed as a promising alternative to fossil fuel, but the methods used to make it either generate too much carbon dioxide or are too expensive. Rice University researchers have found a way to harvest hydrogen ...

Energy & Green Tech

Math allows hydrogen blend in natural gas pipelines

Mathematical modeling can show how to safely blend hydrogen with carbon dioxide for transport in existing pipeline systems. A secure and reliable transition to hydrogen is one of the proposed solutions for the shift to a ...

Energy & Green Tech

Big potential for green hydrogen in North Africa: report

By 2050 North Africa could become a leading exporter of green hydrogen with Europe its main market, according to a recent report projecting the future of an industry still in its infancy.

Engineering

Novel method brings us a step closer towards cheap hydrogen

Umeå University researchers have made a breakthrough that may make hydrogen—a clean, CO2-free fuel—more affordable. The team has developed a new method that improves how hydrogen gas is produced from water and electricity, ...

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Hydrogen

Hydrogen (pronounced /ˈhaɪdrədʒən/) is the chemical element with atomic number 1. It is represented by the symbol H. At standard temperature and pressure, hydrogen is a colorless, odorless, nonmetallic, tasteless, highly flammable diatomic gas with the molecular formula H2. With an atomic weight of 1.00794 u, hydrogen is the lightest element.

Hydrogen is the most abundant chemical element, constituting roughly 75% of the universe's elemental mass. Stars in the main sequence are mainly composed of hydrogen in its plasma state. Elemental hydrogen is relatively rare on Earth. Industrial production is from hydrocarbons such as methane with most being used "captively" at the production site. The two largest uses are in fossil fuel processing (e.g., hydrocracking) and ammonia production mostly for the fertilizer market. Hydrogen may be produced from water by electrolysis at substantially greater cost than production from natural gas.

The most common isotope of hydrogen is protium (name rarely used, symbol H) with a single proton and no neutrons. In ionic compounds it can take a negative charge (an anion known as a hydride and written as H−), or as a positively-charged species H+. The latter cation is written as though composed of a bare proton, but in reality, hydrogen cations in ionic compounds always occur as more complex species. Hydrogen forms compounds with most elements and is present in water and most organic compounds. It plays a particularly important role in acid-base chemistry with many reactions exchanging protons between soluble molecules. As the only neutral atom with an analytic solution to the Schrödinger equation, the study of the energetics and bonding of the hydrogen atom played a key role in the development of quantum mechanics.

Hydrogen is important in metallurgy as it can embrittle many metals, complicating the design of pipelines and storage tanks. Hydrogen is highly soluble in many rare earth and transition metals and is soluble in both nanocrystalline and amorphous metals. Hydrogen solubility in metals is influenced by local distortions or impurities in the crystal lattice.

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