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Hydrogen-Discovery, Properties, And Applications

October 21, 2023
written by Adeel Abbas

Hydrogen, with the symbol ‘H’ and atomic number 1, is the simplest and most abundant chemical element in the universe. This article delves into the fundamental properties, historical significance, and diverse applications of hydrogen.

image of hydrogen element
Atomic number1
Relative atomic mass (Ar)1.008
Period in the periodic table1
Group in the periodic table1 (Non-metal)
Block in the periodic tables
Shell structure1


Hydrogen has a long history, with its presence known to ancient alchemists and scientists. However, it was officially recognized as a distinct element in 1766 by British chemist Henry Cavendish.

Physical Properties

Hydrogen is a colorless, odorless, and tasteless gas at room temperature. It is the lightest element, with a density of approximately 0.09 g/cm³. Hydrogen has a melting point of -259.16°C and a boiling point of -252.87°C. It is highly flammable and burns with a clean, blue flame.

Chemical Properties

Hydrogen is incredibly versatile in its chemical properties. It can form compounds with a wide range of elements, and it’s a critical component of water (H2O). It also plays a vital role in various chemical processes, such as hydrogenation in the food industry and in fuel cells to produce electricity.


  • Hydrogen has three isotopes: protium (H-1), deuterium (H-2), and tritium (H-3). Deuterium is used in heavy water reactors, while tritium is a radioactive isotope.
  • Hydrogen is the primary fuel source for stars like the Sun, where nuclear fusion reactions convert hydrogen into helium.
  • Hydrogen is the most abundant element in the universe, making up approximately 75% of its elemental mass.


Hydrogen has a wide range of applications across different industries:

  1. Energy: Hydrogen is considered a clean energy carrier and can be used as fuel in fuel cells to generate electricity with minimal environmental impact.
  2. Ammonia Production: Hydrogen is used in the synthesis of ammonia, a critical component in fertilizers.
  3. Hydrogenation: In the food industry, hydrogen is used to convert liquid oils into solid fats in the production of margarine and shortening.
  4. Rocket Propulsion: Liquid hydrogen is used as rocket fuel due to its high energy content and clean combustion.