In the combustion of hydrogen, the element burns when it reacts with an oxidizing agent.
The combustion of hydrogen is the process by which hydrogen reacts with an oxidizing agent and burns. The combustion of hydrogen is exothermic combustion, which means it releases heat energy. Endothermic processes, on the other hand, absorb energy. Hydrogen is burned based on the chemical formula 2H 2 + O 2 → 2H 2 O, which means that it reacts with oxygen. Although not shown in the chemical equation, an energy input is required to start the reaction, which releases a significant amount of energy when carried to completion.
The combustion of hydrogen was used to launch space shuttles into space.
Combustion reactions are often simply called burning. There are two parts that are essential to combustion reactions, including the combustion of hydrogen: a fuel and an oxidizing agent. Upon entry of heat, hydrogen reacts with oxygen to release heat and light energy. The end products of the reaction include water vapor and heat. Heat input is necessary to overcome the forces of attraction between atoms and molecules; the energy released comes from energy that has been stored in chemical bonds that are broken during the reaction.
The combustion of hydrogen has shown some potential to power automobiles and generate energy to meet other human needs. However, because of the power input required and the comparatively low power output, it is difficult to utilize it efficiently. Fossil fuels are most commonly used as fuel and energy, but the supply of such fuels is very limited and their combustion releases harmful gases into the atmosphere. Hydrogen, on the other hand, is an extremely abundant resource that only produces water vapor when burned. As such, energy research is making significant progress in the development of hydrogen-based fuel cells; some have already been used in automobiles with varying degrees of effectiveness.
While it is still a relatively new area of study, there are several different types of vehicles that have been made to utilize hydrogen combustion because of its clean and renewable nature. In fact, large amounts of hydrogen are used to launch space shuttles into space. Smaller vehicles such as boats and motorcycles were also made to use hydrogen combustion.
A famous example of hydrogen combustion is the Hindenburg explosion. The Hindenburg was an airship sustained by large amounts of hydrogen. Something aboard the airship set off an explosion that ignited the hydrogen, causing the massive airship to explode violently, killing 35 people. Many different theories have been put forward to explain the sudden explosion, but the true cause has never been conclusively determined.