Robotics

No batteries required: The first autonomous, entirely soft robot

A team of Harvard University researchers with expertise in 3D printing, mechanical engineering, and microfluidics has demonstrated the first autonomous, untethered, entirely soft robot. This small, 3D-printed robot—nicknamed ...

Energy & Green Tech

Record solar hydrogen production with concentrated sunlight

Hydrogen will play a key role in reducing our dependence on fossil fuels. It can be sustainably produced by using solar energy to split water molecules. The resulting clean energy can be stored, used to fuel cars or converted ...

Energy & Green Tech

Magnetism: An unexpected push for the hydrogen economy

Humankind has entered uncharted territory: atmospheric CO2 levels have soared to a record-breaking 415 ppm for the first time in human history. The need to find a sustainable alternative to CO2-producing fuels is urgent. ...

Energy & Green Tech

A fossil fuel technology that doesn't pollute

Engineers at The Ohio State University are developing technologies that have the potential to economically convert fossil fuels and biomass into useful products including electricity without emitting carbon dioxide to the ...

Business

Electrified methane reformer produces far less carbon dioxide

A team of researchers from several institutions in Denmark, along with colleagues from Sintex and Haldor Topsoe, has developed an electrified methane reformer that produces far less CO2 than conventional steam-methane reformers. ...

Energy & Green Tech

Hydrogen car prototype

Researchers at the Institute of Chemical Technology and collaborators have successfully developed and tested a scale car prototype that stores and generates hydrogen safely and is capable of using it as fuel.

Energy & Green Tech

Low-cost catalyst boosts hydrogen production from water

A future powered by carbon-free fuel depends on our ability to harness and store energy from renewable but intermittent sources, such as solar and wind. Now, a new catalyst developed at University of Toronto Engineering gives ...

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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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