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Fe ( s ) + 2H 3 O + ( a q ) + 2Cl ( a q ) Fe 2+ ( a q ) + 2Cl ( a q ) + H 2 ( g ) + 2H 2 O ( l )
A photo shows a beaker that contains a clear, colorless liquid. It is labeled, “H C l ( a q ).” Beside the beaker is a watch glass with a dropper above it. The dropper is releasing liquid into a fizzing liquid. The fizzing liquid is releasing a white gas.
The reaction of iron with an acid produces hydrogen. Here, iron reacts with hydrochloric acid. (credit: Mark Ott)

Reaction of ionic metal hydrides with water

It is possible to produce hydrogen from the reaction of hydrides of the active metals, which contain the very strongly basic H anion, with water:

CaH 2 ( s ) + 2H 2 O ( l ) Ca 2+ ( a q ) + 2OH ( a q ) + 2H 2 ( g )

Metal hydrides are expensive but convenient sources of hydrogen, especially where space and weight are important factors. They are important in the inflation of life jackets, life rafts, and military balloons.


Under normal conditions, hydrogen is relatively inactive chemically, but when heated, it enters into many chemical reactions.

Two thirds of the world’s hydrogen production is devoted to the manufacture of ammonia, which is a fertilizer and used in the manufacture of nitric acid. Large quantities of hydrogen are also important in the process of hydrogenation    , discussed in the chapter on organic chemistry.

It is possible to use hydrogen as a nonpolluting fuel. The reaction of hydrogen with oxygen is a very exothermic reaction, releasing 286 kJ of energy per mole of water formed. Hydrogen burns without explosion under controlled conditions. The oxygen-hydrogen torch, because of the high heat of combustion of hydrogen, can achieve temperatures up to 2800 °C. The hot flame of this torch is useful in cutting thick sheets of many metals. Liquid hydrogen is also an important rocket fuel ( [link] ).

A rocket is shown taking off.
Before the fleet’s retirement in 2011, liquid hydrogen and liquid oxygen were used in the three main engines of a space shuttle. Two compartments in the large tank held these liquids until the shuttle was launched. (credit: “reynermedia”/Flickr)

An uncombined hydrogen atom consists of a nucleus and one valence electron in the 1 s orbital. The n = 1 valence shell has a capacity for two electrons, and hydrogen can rightfully occupy two locations in the periodic table. It is possible to consider hydrogen a group 1 element because hydrogen can lose an electron to form the cation, H + . It is also possible to consider hydrogen to be a group 17 element because it needs only one electron to fill its valence orbital to form a hydride ion, H , or it can share an electron to form a single, covalent bond. In reality, hydrogen is a unique element that almost deserves its own location in the periodic table.

Reactions with elements

When heated, hydrogen reacts with the metals of group 1 and with Ca, Sr, and Ba (the more active metals in group 2). The compounds formed are crystalline, ionic hydrides that contain the hydride anion, H , a strong reducing agent and a strong base, which reacts vigorously with water and other acids to form hydrogen gas.

The reactions of hydrogen with nonmetals generally produce acidic hydrogen compounds with hydrogen in the 1+ oxidation state. The reactions become more exothermic and vigorous as the electronegativity of the nonmetal increases. Hydrogen reacts with nitrogen and sulfur only when heated, but it reacts explosively with fluorine (forming HF) and, under some conditions, with chlorine (forming HCl). A mixture of hydrogen and oxygen explodes if ignited. Because of the explosive nature of the reaction, it is necessary to exercise caution when handling hydrogen (or any other combustible gas) to avoid the formation of an explosive mixture in a confined space. Although most hydrides of the nonmetals are acidic, ammonia and phosphine (PH 3 ) are very, very weak acids and generally function as bases. There is a summary of these reactions of hydrogen with the elements in [link] .

Questions & Answers

what are oxidation numbers
Idowu Reply
pls what is electrolysis
Idowu Reply
what is the basicity of an atom
Eze Reply
basicity is the number of replaceable Hydrogen atoms in a Molecule. in H2SO4, the basicity is 2. in Hcl, the basicity is 1
how to solve oxidation number
Mr Reply
good evening sir
mention some examples of ester
Chinenye Reply
do you mean ether?
what do converging lines on a mass Spectra represent
Rozzi Reply
would I do to help me know this topic ?
what the physic?
Bassidi Reply
who is albert heistein?
similarities between elements in the same group and period
legend Reply
what is the ratio of hydrogen to oxulygen in carbohydrates
Nadeen Reply
what is poh and ph
Amarachi Reply
please what is the chemical configuration of sodium
2, 6, 2, 1
1s2, 2s2, 2px2, 2py2, 2pz2, 3s1
what is criteria purity
Austin Reply
cathode is a negative ion why is it that u said is negative
Michael Reply
cathode is a negative electrode while cation is a positive ion. cation move towards cathode plate.
CH3COOH +NaOH ,complete the equation
david Reply
compare and contrast the electrical conductivity of HCl and CH3cooH
Sa Reply
The must be in dissolved in water (aqueous). Electrical conductivity is measured in Siemens (s). HCl (aq) has higher conductivity, as it fully ionises (small portion of CH3COOH (aq) ionises) when dissolved in water. Thus, more free ions to carry charge.
HCl being an strong acid will fully ionize in water thus producing more mobile ions for electrical conduction than the carboxylic acid
differiante between a weak and a strong acid
how can I tell when an acid is weak or Strong
an aqueous solution of copper sulphate was electrolysed between graphite electrodes. state what was observed at the cathode
Bakanya Reply
write the equation for the reaction that took place at the anode
what is enthalpy of combustion
Enthalpy change of combustion: It is the enthalpy change when 1 mole of substance is combusted with excess oxygen under standard conditions. Elements are in their standard states. Conditions: pressure = 1 atm Temperature =25°C
Observation at Cathode: Cu metal deposit (pink/red solid).
Equation at Anode: (SO4)^2- + 4H^+ + 2e^- __> SO2 + 2H2O
Equation : CuSO4 -> Cu^2+ + SO4^2- equation at katode: 2Cu^2+ + 4e -> 2Cu equation at anode: 2H2O -> 4H+ + O2 +4e at the anode which reacts is water because SO4 ^ 2- cannot be electrolyzed in the anode
Practice Key Terms 3

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Source:  OpenStax, Chemistry. OpenStax CNX. May 20, 2015 Download for free at http://legacy.cnx.org/content/col11760/1.9
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