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What is the product of burning hydrogen? Answered

What is the product of burning hydrogen? Smoke? Hydrocarbons? Or nothing? Thanks!

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frollardBest Answer (author)2010-07-31

burning something is combining a fuel with oxygen. If you burn a hydrocarbon, you get water (hydrogen and oxygen) and carbon dioxide (carbon and oxygen). If you burn hydrogen gas (H2) then you get 2 H2 + O2 --> 2 H20. H20 is ...water...and you have a balanced equation, so there are no other products. Homework?  Since it is exothermic, and the output is water, you are likely to end up with hot...water...or steam :)

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user

so if hydrogen justs burns i still get steam? (not homework, just a project.)

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user

Sure does -- Like they say, if you get air 'hot' in any reaction, its not just oxygen -- its got a bunch of nitrogen, neon, xenon, and other fun gasses -- most of them don't react, because the hydrogen and oxygen are really happy to mingle, but a few do - thus you end up with trace amounts of other stuff. Similarly, if you burn propane in a controlled setting you get ideally: (C3H8 + 5 O2 >> 4 H2O + 3 CO2 + heat).  If you do it in air you get nitrogen (N2) forming a few extra chemicals...

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user

Actully im going to vacuum out all the air in a tank and then fill the tank 1/4 full of hydrogen and than make a spark in there. What will it produce?

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jeff-o (author)joespicnictables2010-08-05

Assuming there is also some oxygen in there: an explosion.

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user

Are you sure that's not homework?

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user

ya, its a project for a fusion reactor. (plus it still summer) :P

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user

Nothing: It needs oxygen. Hydrogen doesn't burn without it. Anything more than 5% hydrogen in air will explode with a spark ignition.

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.  Yep. In a "perfect" reaction 2H2 + O2 -> 2H2O + heat
.  As steveastrouk points out, in the real world, there will be other components, but water will be the main one.

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Re-design (author)2010-08-01
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lemonie (author)2010-08-01


The name is derived from the Greek hudro meaning water, and -gen also from the Greek genes meaning to be born / become.
Hence Hydrogen means "water-creator".

L

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steveastrouk (author)2010-08-01

Except if you burn in air, you get some nitrous compounds too apparently.

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