The word Hydrogen comes from the Greek word ‘Hydrogenium,’ which means water forming. Hydrogen (H) is the lightest element, and it comes first in the periodic table. Hydrogen is the most common element in the Universe (approx. 75% of the mass of the Universe). You must be familiar with water (H2O). Well, water is nothing but an instance of Hydrogen gas. The stars you see at night are mostly Hydrogen.
As we have learned, it is the most common element in the Universe, but as Hydrogen is highly a reactive element; thus, it is not found in the free state.
Hydrogen can be found in:
In terms of properties, Hydrogen is a colorless, tasteless, odorless, and highly combustible gas. It is so minute that 5 billion molecules of Hydrogen can fit the head of one paper pin!
Chemical Properties of Hydrogen
Physical Properties of Hydrogen
As we cannot find it in a free-state, a need to prepare it artificially arises. Hydrogen can be prepared in two ways:
Preparation of Hydrogen in the Laboratory
The preparation of Hydrogen in the laboratory results in a small amount of Hydrogen. The most common method is reacting a metal with acid. For this purpose, mostly Zinc (Zn) is used. The below reaction shows the preference of Zinc as the metal to be used.
Zinc reacts with any acid. As a result, Zinc replaces acid from Hydrogen to any salt and releases hydrogen gas.
Zinc reacts with any alkaline. As a result, it replaces Hydrogen from Alkaline, and a salt is formed and releases hydrogen gas.
Preparation of Hydrogen Commercially
In this mode of Hydrogen production, a large amount of Hydrogen is produced. There are different ways by which you can produce Hydrogen commercially, namely:
The most prominent of the methods is the electrolysis of water. Let us read about it in brief.
It explains the preparation of Hydrogen from water electrodes. Hydrogen is produced by electrolysis of water in the presence of Platinum electrodes using traces of either acids or Bases.
2 H2O(l) → 2 H2(g) + O2(g)
The Bosch’s Process is named after the German chemist Carl Bosch. Bosch’s process is used to prepare Hydrogen.
Bosch’s process includes water gas being mixed with twice the volume of steam passed through catalyst Fe2O3, at 773 K, in the presence of promoter Cr2O3 or ThO2. It gives CO2 and H2 as a result.
CO2 is dissolved in water and is removed, leaving undissolved H2. It is a chemical reaction between Carbon Dioxide (CO2) and Hydrogen (H) to produce elemental carbon (graphite), water, and a 10% result of invested heat.
Hydrogen comes first in the periodic table and has a significant role in our daily lives. Although it is available in abundance, we can find Hydrogen in animal tissues, water, stars, etc. but not in a free state due to its chemical properties. So, we have to prepare it artificially. As we have learned, Hydrogen can be prepared using different methods like reacting Zinc with any metal or alkali, electrolysis of water, and more.