Exploring Hydrogen Fuel: Acid-Metal Reactions

Hydrogen Fuel is being explored more and more for use with our cars and motor vehicles as a source of alternative fuel. There are many things that need to be discussed with hydrogen fuel. The reactions it has with other chemicals. Also the by products of burning hydrogen as a fuel. One main concern is that hydrogen is colorless and odorless. So there would be no way to know if there is a leak unless you have a monitor. It is highly combustible and that is a worry as well. However, testing and research goes on in alternative fuels. In this article we are going to discuss the reactions of acid to metal of hydrogen.

Air Input into the Hydrogen

Any engine that is of the internal combustion type produces pollutants. The engine that is running on hydrogen has the possibility of producing nitrogen in the form of nitrous oxide. The reaction with hydrogen and the air intake of the nitrogen will produce nitric acid and or hydrogen cyanide gas. With these both being toxic gases this becomes a huge problem in using hydrogen as a fuel. However, the hydrogen that is used for forms of transport are basically in the form of fuel cells at this time.

Chemical Bonding Power of Hydrogen

Because of the molecular makeup of hydrogen, it will bond with other elements unlike its counterparts. It is considered to be the backbone of most of our elements. Acid and metal combining together produces hydrogen gas that it is of course, toxic. Hydrogen alone is a highly flammable element. This is one of the main problems with using hydrogen as a fuel. When it burns it only produces water which is harmless and good. But in order to make it safe to use as a fuel you have to put it through electrolysis which takes huge amounts of electricity.

Reactions with Metals

When hydrogen is activated by a catalyst t can become unstable. At normal temperatures it is fairly nonreactive but at high temperatures when combined with a oxide of certain metals such as copper, lead, and silver. At low temperatures they are fine but combined at high temperatures they form yet another byproduct called a hydride. The combination of hydrogen with nickel produces some wonderful batteries that we all use in our daily life. Another combination with lithium produces another type of battery cell that is even better. We have used hydrogen for years in many ways by combining it with metals and acids to produce byproducts used in fuel production. The space program uses tons of hydrogen for their fuel source. One of the things that make it so expensive. As of yet there is no cheap way to prepare hydrogen to be used.

Acidic Reactions

The reactions of diluted acids on metals produce hydrogen. Zinc is one of the metals that can be used for that. When you want to produce mass quantities of hydrogen you require mass electrolysis. But Hydrogen is being separated from waste products, gas, coal and sewage by using different reactive agents to bond with the hydrogen naturally. It is becoming more evident that we have many more uses of hydrogen than just water and peroxide.