Therser UK Blog

Who Wants A Science Lesson In Hydrogen?

Find below a break down of Hydrogen's different forms,

H = Atomic Hydrogen
Atomic hydrogen is number 1 on the Periodic Table of Elements. It consists of one proton and one unpaired electron which means that it is a free radical.
However an atom of hydrogen rarely exists on its own because its unpaired electron eagerly seeks to join up with another electron.
The molecular form of hydrogen is more common.
H2 is a gas which forms when two hydrogen atoms bond together and become a hydrogen molecule. H2 is also called molecular, it consists of two protons and two electrons. Consequently it is the most common form of Hydrogen because it is stable with a neutral charge. H2 is not a free radical. It is the antioxidant in ‘hydrogen-rich’ water.
H2 is the smallest molecule in the universe. That means it can go where nothing else can …including into your mitochondria which are the powerhouses of your cells.

H+ = Proton
When the Hydrogen atom loses an electron all that is left is a proton. It becomes the positively charged hydrogen ion known as H+. This is the form of Hydrogen that produces the ATP enzyme that powers our cells and mitochondria.
The H+ hydrogen ion is the basis of the pH scale.

H: – = Hydride
Hydride is a hydrogen atom which has an extra electron. This means that it is a negatively charged ion, or anion. That is why Hydride ion (H-) has the minus sign distinguishing it from a regular Hydrogen atom (H). The two dots after the H means that this ion has two electrons instead of just one. The extra electron means that H- is not a free radical however it is not stable because this form of hydrogen is a very strong base (extremely alkaline) which reacts with water to produce hydroxide (OH–and molecular hydrogen (H2).
OH– = Hydroxide ion

H3O+ = Hydronium ion
A water molecule (H20) plus a hydrogen ion (H+) becomes a hydronium ion (H3O+). The H+ ion is a lone proton with a powerful charge. It does not exist on its own in an aqueous solution because it is immediately attracted to the unshared electrons in the oxygen atom of H2O. The result is Hydronium (H3O+). This process is reversible. Two water molecules can disassociate to form hydronium plus hydroxide.

pH stands for potential of Hydrogen and is actually a measurement of the concentration of hydrogen ions (H+) in a solution. Water breaks down (dissociates) into protons (H+) and hydroxides (OH–). This reaction is reversible.

2H2O ⇆ OH– and H3O+
pH indicates whether water is acidic, neutral, or alkaline. More H+ = more acidic. Less H+ = more alkaline.
Because H+ immediately associates with H2O to form H3O+ (Hydronium), pH can also be said to be a measurement of the concentration of H3O+ in a solution.

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