What Makes Hydrogen Highly Flammable and Carbon Strong?

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In summary, certain gases, like hydrogen, are highly flammable due to their low kindling points and their readiness to bond with other atoms. The activation energy needed for a reaction to occur is also a factor in combustibility. Carbon exhibits strength in its different allotropes, with diamond being the hardest substance due to its rigid and tight bonds, while graphite is brittle due to its hexagonal bonding structure. Fullerines, a unique form of carbon, also possess strength and are being explored for their potential use in various applications.
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Mozart
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Why are certain gasses so flammable? What makes hydrogen so combustious? Is it because they have low kindling points? If so what determines a kindling point, and are gasses known to have lower kindling points compared to solids?

Here is an extra curricular question: What makes Carbon so strong?

That is a little off topic but I don't want to have to make another thread and crowd up the boards with my ignorance. Help me rid myself of my incompetence.
 
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I would assume hydrogen is so flammable because it so readily wants to bond with other atoms. If the reaction has a low activation energy, then it will be easy to start. For example, hydrogen gas and oxygen gas need only a small spark to make water. the key is having the needed components for the reaction.

Carbon has 3 allotropes,
-Graphite
-Diamonds
-Fullerines/"Buckeyballs"

Graphite is not strong at all, it is quite brittle, like in pencil "lead". When carbon is in the form of graphite, it forms hexagonal bonds with other carbon atoms, that form in planes than can easily break.

Diamonds however are the hardest thing on Earth if I am not misstaken. It forms very rigid, tight bonds with other carbon atoms.

Fullerines form "balls" of carbon. You almost need a picture or 3D model to understand what they look like, but these two are strong. They are being considered in making new types of nano wires and various other things out of tubes make out of the "balls" or carbon.

It is all about how the carbon is bonded.
 
  • #3


Hydrogen is highly flammable because of its chemical properties. It has a low ignition energy, meaning it requires very little energy to ignite. This is due to its low molecular weight and small size, allowing it to easily mix with oxygen in the air and form a highly combustible mixture. Additionally, the bond between hydrogen atoms in a molecule is very weak, making it easy for the molecule to break apart and release energy when ignited.

Other gases, such as methane and propane, are also highly flammable for similar reasons. They have low molecular weights and weak bonds between atoms, making them easy to ignite.

The kindling point, also known as the ignition temperature, is the minimum temperature at which a material will spontaneously ignite. This temperature is determined by the chemical properties of the substance, including its molecular structure and bond strength. Generally, gases do tend to have lower kindling points compared to solids, as they are more easily dispersed in the air and can mix with oxygen more readily.

As for your extra curricular question, carbon is strong because of its unique ability to form strong chemical bonds with other elements, especially itself. This allows it to form a wide variety of molecules and structures, making it a key component in many materials such as steel and diamond. Additionally, the arrangement of carbon atoms in a molecule can greatly affect its strength and properties. For example, a long chain of carbon atoms forms the basis of the strong and flexible material, Kevlar.

I hope this helps to clear up any confusion and expand your understanding of these topics. Keep asking questions and seeking knowledge, there is no shame in admitting ignorance and striving to learn more.
 

Related to What Makes Hydrogen Highly Flammable and Carbon Strong?

1. Why is hydrogen so flammable?

Hydrogen is highly flammable because it has a low ignition energy and a wide flammability range. This means that it only requires a small amount of energy to ignite and will continue to burn in a variety of conditions.

2. What makes hydrogen more flammable than other gases?

Hydrogen has the highest energy-to-weight ratio of any fuel, making it highly reactive and volatile. It also has a low molecular weight, allowing it to disperse quickly and mix easily with oxygen in the air, creating a highly combustible mixture.

3. Is hydrogen always flammable, or are there certain conditions that need to be present?

Hydrogen is always flammable, but the degree of flammability depends on the concentration of hydrogen in the air. A mixture of hydrogen and air that contains between 4% and 75% hydrogen is considered flammable, with 29% being the most flammable.

4. Why do we use hydrogen if it is so flammable?

Despite its flammability, hydrogen is a highly versatile and abundant element. It is used in a variety of industries, including transportation, energy production, and manufacturing. Proper safety measures are taken when handling and using hydrogen to minimize the risk of fire or explosion.

5. Can hydrogen be made less flammable?

There are ways to reduce the flammability of hydrogen, such as diluting it with non-flammable gases, storing it in a safe and controlled environment, and using specialized materials for storage and transportation. However, these methods may also affect its effectiveness as a fuel source, so it is important to find a balance between safety and efficiency.

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