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Although hydrogen is the most abundant element in the universe, its reactivity means that it exists as compounds with other elements. Thus, molecular hydrogen, H 2 , must be prepared from other compounds. The following outlines a selection of synthetic methods.

Steam reforming of carbon and hydrocarbons

Many reactions are available for the production of hydrogen from the reaction of steam with a carbon source. The choice of reaction is guided by the availability of raw materials and the desired purity of the hydrogen. The simplest reaction involves passing steam over coke at high temperatures (1000 °C).

Coke is a grey, hard, and porous carbonaceous material derived from destructive distillation of low-ash, low-sulfur bituminous coal. As an alternative to coke, methane may be used at a slightly higher temperature (1100 °C).

In each case the carbon monoxide formed in the reaction can react further with steam in the presence of a suitable catalyst (usually iron or cobalt oxide) to generate further hydrogen.

This reaction is known as the water gas-shift reaction, and was discovered by Italian physicist Felice Fontana ( [link] ) in 1780.

Italian physicist Felice Fontana (1730 - 1805).

The dominant industrial process for hydrogen production uses natural gas or oil refinery feedstock in the presence of a nickel catalyst at 900 °C.

Electrolysis of water

Electrolysis of acidified water in with platinum electrodes is a simple (although energy intensive) route to hydrogen.

On a larger scale hydrolysis of warm aqueous solutions of barium hydroxide can yield hydrogen of purity greater than 99.95%. Hydrogen is also formed as a side product in the production of chlorine from electrolysis of brine (NaCl) solutions in the presence of a mercury electrode.

The sodium mercury amalgam reacts with water to yield hydrogen.

Thus, the overall reaction can be written as:

However, this method is being phased out for environmental reasons.

Reaction of metal with acid

Hydrogen is produced by the reaction of highly electropositive metals with water, and less reactive metals with acids, e.g.,

This method was originally used by Henry Cavendish ( [link] ) during his studies that led to the understanding of hydrogen as an element ( [link] ).

Henry Cavendish (1731 - 1810).
Cavendish's apparatus for making hydrogen in the left hand jar by the reaction of a strong acid with a metal and collecting the hydrogen gas above water in the right hand inverted jar.

The same method was employed by French inventor Jacques Charles ( [link] ) for the first flight of a hydrogen balloon on 27 th August 1783. Unfortunately, terrified peasants destroyed his balloon when it landed outside of Paris.

Jacques Alexandre César Charles (1746 – 1823).

Hydrolysis of metal hydrides

Reactive metal hydrides such as calcium hydride (CaH 2 ) undergo rapid hydrolysis to liberate hydrogen.

This reaction is sometimes used to inflate life rafts and weather balloons where a simple, compact means of generating H 2 is desired.

Questions & Answers

do you think it's worthwhile in the long term to study the effects and possibilities of nanotechnology on viral treatment?
Damian Reply
absolutely yes
how to know photocatalytic properties of tio2 nanoparticles...what to do now
Akash Reply
it is a goid question and i want to know the answer as well
characteristics of micro business
Do somebody tell me a best nano engineering book for beginners?
s. Reply
what is fullerene does it is used to make bukky balls
Devang Reply
are you nano engineer ?
fullerene is a bucky ball aka Carbon 60 molecule. It was name by the architect Fuller. He design the geodesic dome. it resembles a soccer ball.
what is the actual application of fullerenes nowadays?
That is a great question Damian. best way to answer that question is to Google it. there are hundreds of applications for buck minister fullerenes, from medical to aerospace. you can also find plenty of research papers that will give you great detail on the potential applications of fullerenes.
what is the Synthesis, properties,and applications of carbon nano chemistry
Abhijith Reply
Mostly, they use nano carbon for electronics and for materials to be strengthened.
is Bucky paper clear?
so some one know about replacing silicon atom with phosphorous in semiconductors device?
s. Reply
Yeah, it is a pain to say the least. You basically have to heat the substarte up to around 1000 degrees celcius then pass phosphene gas over top of it, which is explosive and toxic by the way, under very low pressure.
Do you know which machine is used to that process?
how to fabricate graphene ink ?
for screen printed electrodes ?
What is lattice structure?
s. Reply
of graphene you mean?
or in general
in general
Graphene has a hexagonal structure
On having this app for quite a bit time, Haven't realised there's a chat room in it.
what is biological synthesis of nanoparticles
Sanket Reply
what's the easiest and fastest way to the synthesize AgNP?
Damian Reply
types of nano material
abeetha Reply
I start with an easy one. carbon nanotubes woven into a long filament like a string
many many of nanotubes
what is the k.e before it land
what is the function of carbon nanotubes?
I'm interested in nanotube
what is nanomaterials​ and their applications of sensors.
Ramkumar Reply
what is nano technology
Sravani Reply
what is system testing?
preparation of nanomaterial
Victor Reply
Yes, Nanotechnology has a very fast field of applications and their is always something new to do with it...
Himanshu Reply
good afternoon madam
what is system testing
what is the application of nanotechnology?
In this morden time nanotechnology used in many field . 1-Electronics-manufacturad IC ,RAM,MRAM,solar panel etc 2-Helth and Medical-Nanomedicine,Drug Dilivery for cancer treatment etc 3- Atomobile -MEMS, Coating on car etc. and may other field for details you can check at Google
anybody can imagine what will be happen after 100 years from now in nano tech world
after 100 year this will be not nanotechnology maybe this technology name will be change . maybe aftet 100 year . we work on electron lable practically about its properties and behaviour by the different instruments
name doesn't matter , whatever it will be change... I'm taking about effect on circumstances of the microscopic world
how hard could it be to apply nanotechnology against viral infections such HIV or Ebola?
silver nanoparticles could handle the job?
not now but maybe in future only AgNP maybe any other nanomaterials
I'm interested in Nanotube
this technology will not going on for the long time , so I'm thinking about femtotechnology 10^-15
how did you get the value of 2000N.What calculations are needed to arrive at it
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Source:  OpenStax, Hydrogen. OpenStax CNX. Sep 28, 2009 Download for free at http://cnx.org/content/col10984/1.4
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