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What is Hydrogen?

  1. Apr 27, 2005 #1
    What response is evoked when you hear or read about Hydrogen?

    Does it evoke fear? Hope? Threat? Opportunity?

    I am an advocate of Hydrogen use and desire its' integration into our society. DaveC426913 has been kind enough to help mentor me in choosing the correct format to stimulate a discussion. This issue is extremely important to me and I hope that it will become important to you as well. So for the sake of enlightenment please help me, I am really interested in your knowledge and opinions .
  2. jcsd
  3. Apr 27, 2005 #2


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    '... as an energy source...'
  4. Apr 27, 2005 #3
    well, it is clear that nothing could be possible without hydrogen. it is the basic element. from it, all the rest are created. it is 2/3 of water (the 1/3 is oxygen(H2O)) which is the symbol and basic of life. it is the elemnt that occupies the biggest percentage of the universe's composition (does someone know the percentage? I think it was 75% or something.....). it is basically the "Factor" element. I am also a "supporter" of hydogen. does someone know the meaning of the word hydrogen? (it comes from latin or greek, I think so....)
  5. Apr 27, 2005 #4
    I think it means 'water maker.'

    Anyhoo, I'm not sure of the thread's purpose...you want to discuss hydrogen as a fuel? In fuel cells, fusion, etc.?

    I think it's a great idea if it can be made to work practically. Therein lies the rub, but I'm not up on the recent advances in that direction, so I'll be watching this thread to learn something about it.
  6. Apr 27, 2005 #5


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    Eh, not quite. It is certainly the simplest and least massive element, but atoms are composed of electrons, protons, and neutrons. The difference between hydrogen and some other element is the number of protons. Hydrogen has only one proton.

    75% by mass, 90% by number.
  7. Apr 27, 2005 #6
    oooh. but I meant that in nuclear fusion that happens in stars, then it is when helium and hydrogen change their number of prot/neu/electrons becomeing other, don't they? I have always thought that. If not, how are the other elements created? and I didn knwo that an element is defined by it's sub-atomic-particles number.


    to the post on top of SpaceTiger's, I don't know who it is, but I think that if the auther wanted to discuss about hydrogen as a fuel, he wouldn't have put it in the value theory in philosophy, don't you think? I think we just should discuss about it in general.
  8. Apr 27, 2005 #7


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    Sorta. Technically, the simplest fusion reactions involve collisions of protons, but protons are sometimes referred to as singly-ionized hydrogen. It's really semantic, mostly, the important thing is the structural differences between the atoms.
  9. Apr 27, 2005 #8


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    So Mr. P, just to be clear, this discussion is about the ethics of using hydrogen as a source of energy? If so, perhaps you could give us more insight on your views about this matter?
  10. Apr 27, 2005 #9
    thanks for explaining it to me.
  11. Apr 27, 2005 #10
    To all of you kindly giving your time to my enlightenment!

    I believe hypnagogue Is quite correct regarding my post. That observation ,if for no other reason, is the first step, wether verbalized or intuitive, taken preceding action.

    I believe 'informed' is a better prerequisite to action than 'ignorant'. A case in point Dave's opinion regarding the method for engaging discussion. Thank you davec4286913 .

    <<<GUILLE>>> thank you for stimulating the repartee as well.

    frank MR. P
  12. Apr 27, 2005 #11
    infidel I think you've probably hit on an area that needs defining.

    Upon reflection. there is/are two ways to intrepret the 'idea' of hydrogen as a fuel:
    1. From the nuclear standepoint a raw material to 'fuse'
    2. From the chemical sense a 'recycleable' energy transport mechanism

    Let me claraify that I use 'recycleable' in the environmental context keeping the definition within the format of this thread.

  13. Apr 27, 2005 #12
    Regarding hydrogen as a fuel,
    is hydrogen nuclear power abailable now? even if it is, it would be negative to our enviroment, compeltely alike to fuel cell motors which only produce heat, water and electricity.
  14. Apr 27, 2005 #13

    No. Hydrogen as it now stands has not been able to sustain itself in fusion reactions.

    I was trying unsuccessfully at making a comparison of the difference between Nuclear reactions (much more powerful) and chemical reactions.The type of recycling that I can readily Hydrogen in the context of a chemical reaction as in the formation of water provides an environmental recycling option that no ther compound offers. When .for example, we electrolyze water making h2 and o2 gasses essentially we are 'creating potential energy' or better said we are converting kinetic energy into potential energy aqssuming that the potential energy lies in the re-oxidation of hydrogen making water fromwhich it came.. An elegant mechanism for storing various enviromentally beigning sources of energy like photo cells , wind ,hydro for future use. etc.
  15. Apr 27, 2005 #14


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    I think of cars and neutrons :D
  16. Apr 28, 2005 #15
    Hydrogen? It is one of the most common elements on earth. Most common element in the universe. Highly combustible because of its high calorific value. Used in fusion bombs. Has a great potential as an environmentally friendly fuel since hydrogen combustion gives water vapour as the end product. Few vehicles are running on hydrogen, but are at an experimental stage.
  17. Apr 28, 2005 #16
    Humdrum and ennui. It's everywhere. What, is 90% of the universe not enough? One piddly proton and one measly electron. Not even a neutron, bah! Odorless, colorless, tasteless. I mean, how boring can you get? So boring that it has to hang around oxygen to get any action. I say we get busy right away and start converting hydrogen into more interesting elements. Helium would be a good choice. Funny voices! That's reason enough!
  18. Apr 29, 2005 #17
    Hydrogen gas was partly responsible for the Hindenburg disaster. Read more
  19. Apr 30, 2005 #18


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    Too bad you didn't use MR. H as a usename. :biggrin:

    Quite simply hydogen is an element. It may be considered stored chemical energy in relation to H2O, and in fact it is rather ubiquitous, as H in hydrocarbons, also a form of stored chemical energy.

    One issue is whether H2 can replace present days hydrocarbons (aka fossil fuels) as a principle energy storage medium, e.g. for transportation. Besides the technical issues of storage and material degradation, the main issues are economy and safety, which are themselves tied to the technical issues.

    Hydrogen is used in a variety of industrial processes already, and there are furnaces which use cracked ammonia (2 NH3 -> N2 + 3 H2) to provide a reducing atmosphere.

    As for fusion, in stars (see threads on stellar nucleosynthesis, PP cycle or CNO cycle), the fusion of hydrogen (P) occurs under conditions not realized on earth.

    Heavier light elements can be formed with fusion of 3He and 4He with Be or C, e.g.

    3He + 7Be -> 10C

    but more likely

    4He + 7Li -> 11B
    4He + 7Be -> 11C
    4He + 9Be -> 12C + [itex]_0^1n[/itex]
    4He + 11B -> 14C + p or 14N + [itex]_0^1n[/itex]
    4He + 12C -> 16O

    Those type of reactions would produce C, N and O in the sun for instance, although once 12C is produced, then the CNO cycle can then develop.

    Fusion, if it can be developed, would likely use the other hydrogen isotopes, deuterium, D (pn), and tritium, T (p2n). However, there are aneutronic reactions like p+7Li and p+11B, which are difficult to achieve.
    Last edited: Apr 30, 2005
  20. May 1, 2005 #19

    Ivan Seeking

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  21. May 1, 2005 #20

    Ivan Seeking

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    This is a list of all good links to date - posted in the thread above and the parent thread:
    A Hydrogen economy: Be a part of the change! https://www.physicsforums.com/showthread.php?t=4127

    Posted approximately in the order discussed:
    [Please post a note if any links are bad.]

    Scientific American Frontiers: Future Cars [Watch the video online]

    Questions about a Hydrogen Economy; Scientific American

    Office of Nuclear Energy, Science and Technology
    U. S. Department of Energy
    Nuclear Hydrogen Initiative Nuclear

    The National Hydrogen Association





    Hosted by: Los Alamos National Laboratories

    International Energy Agency Hydrogen Program

    Includes discussion of
    Thermal/Steam/Partial Oxidation
    Small scale reformer technologies
    Photovoltaic cells plus an electrolyzer
    Photoelectrochemical cells with one or more semiconductor electrodes
    Photobiological systems
    Photodegradation systems
    Photoelectrolytic and Photobiological Production of Hydrogen

    Case Studies of Integrated Hydrogen Energy Systems

    Hydrogen by Catalytic Decomposition of Water [search "Hydrogen"]

    Also at the site above: search Hydrogen

    Hydrogen - The Department of Energy
    Time to Escape from the Grid: Wired Magazine


    First two myths about renewable energy need to be dispelled

    Fuel cells: environmental friend or foe?

    More on fuel cells

    Hydrogen Safety Facts

    Hydrogen at Home; The H2 Horizon: Re Iceland, which has gone H2 already

    Fuel from water [credibility of author unknown]

    Gas Hydrages

    The NHA's Hydrogen Commercialization Plan

    The NHA's Hydrogen Implementation Plan

    Multi-step metal oxide cycles for solar-thermal water splitting"

    Solar Production Of Zinc: Concentrated solar energy is used as the source of process heat for the dissociation of zinc oxide

    Mechanical Engineering "Power & Energy," March 2004 -- "Packaging Sunlight," Feature Article

    Analysis of Solar Thermochemical Water-Splitting Cycles for Hydrogen"+efficiency+cost+problems&hl=en

    Concentrating Photovoltaics: Collaborative Opportunities within DOE’s CSP and PV Programs

    Rapid Solar-thermal Dissociation of Natural Gas in an Aerosol Flow Reactor"+efficiency+cost+problems&hl=en

    1. Union of Concerned Scientists www.ucsusa.org.
    2. American Methanol Institute www.methanol.org.
    3. Fuel Cells 2000 www.fuelcells.org.
    4. California Air Resources Board www.arb.ca.gov.
    5. National Hydrogen Association www.hydrogenus.com.
    6. Los Alamos National Laboratory (see below)
    7. California Fuel Cell Partnership www.drivingthefuture.org.
    8. The US Fuel Cell Council www.usfcc.com.
    9. California Hydrogen Business Council www.ch2bc.org/

    White House press release

    Also, search "Hydrogen"

    Fuel Cells

    Fues Cells coming of age

    Hydrogen Fuel Cell Cars: ecoworld article

    NASA Spaces on Energy Solutuion: Wired article


    International Association For Hydrogen Energy

    Sustained Photobiological Hydrogen Gas Production upon Reversible Inactivation of Oxygen Evolution in the Green Alga Chlamydomonas reinhardtii

    Hydrogen; Quick Facts

    Europositron technology: a private enterprise

    Brayton Cycle engines

    Hybrid Turbine Electric Vehicle

    UK company way ahead of the market in creating green hydrogen

    Hydrogen Economy looks out of reach: Nature article
    UK company way ahead of the market in creating green hydrogen[/URL]

    Running On Thin Air
    Iceland is making its dream of a hydrogen economy come true

    California Unveils State's First Hydrogen Refueling Station: News item

    Fusion reactor decision must wait: BBC report

    Hybrids vs. Hydrogen: Which Future Is Brighter?

    hydrogen from methanol

    hydrogen from coal

    hydrogen from nuclear power

    hydrogen from sunlight

    hydrogent from wind

    fuel cells

    Technical issues of a hydrogen economy

    [url]hydrogen from methanol

    hydrogen from coal

    hydrogen from nuclear power

    hydrogen from sunlight

    hydrogent from wind

    fuel cells

    Technical issues of a hydrogen economy

    Scientists develop new hydrogen reactor: CNN news item

    Ethanol and the Environment

    A group of non-specific links from various poster:

    Food, Energy, and Society [book]

    Hydrogen economy for a sustainable development:state-of-the-art and technological perspectives

    The Hydrogen Economy: Physics Today article

    The Hydrogen Economy: Opportunities, Costs, Barriers, and R&D Needs (2004)

    Hydrogen Economy Offers Major Opportunities But Faces Considerable Hurdles

    Supercritical-Water-Cooled Reactor

    Clean coal compendium and related articles:

    Automobile Emissions Reduction Efforts in the U.S. - Chronology

    Articles posted from Car and Driver

    The Dirty Folly of "Clean Coal"

    Coal Combustion, Public Health and the Environment

    Emissions of greenhouse gases

    More on nuclear options for Hydrogen

    Spray-On Solar-Power Cells Are True Breakthrough

    ASU researcher gets grant to explore new methods of hydrogen generation

    Quantum Dots and Tunable Bandgap

    Hydrogen for residential combined heat and power

    Oregon may lead future of wave energy: news alert

    "Ethanol has the potential to be an integral part of the emerging hydrogen economy. Its properties make it an excellent liquid fuel for the extraction of hydrogen.

    Hydrogen powered motorcycle: news item

    T-Zero Electric Car [hot!]

    Windmills in the Sky: Wired News item

    Solar Tower of Power: Wired News item

    About H2 ICE: Internal Combustion Engines. They're here...

    Last edited by a moderator: May 2, 2017
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