Known as an odorless, colorless and nonmetallic flammable gas, hydrogen is one of the most abundant elements in the universe. This element is important to the formation of stars belonging in the main sequence. However, the gas is very rare in our planet. The chemical element has various industrial uses. Moreover, the element is important to the discovery of the atomic structure. To learn more about this element, it is best if we start with the history of the discovery of hydrogen.
Who discovered hydrogen? Henry Cavendish discovered the element in 1776. He found out that various elements including hydrogen composed water. Cavendish also discovered the gas from a certain metal-acid experiment that he performed. Antoine Lavoisier named the gas hydrogen in 1783 when he and Pierre-Simon Laplace proved the findings of Cavendish that water could be produced when the gas is burned. The element was first liquefied in 1898 by James Dewar. He did this with the use of a vacuum flask and the regenerative cooling technique Dewar invented. Dewar developed solid hydrogen in 1899.
Additional Information and Other Important Details
This flammable gas is very important to the operations of chemical industries as well as petroleum industries. This gas is needed for upgrading or improving the state of fossil fuels. Aside from this, it is also necessary for the development of ammonia. One of the isotopes of the element is important to some of the operations in petrochemical plants like hydrodesulfurization, hydrodealkylation and hydrocracking.
Aside from the uses of the element in petroleum industries, it is also useful in food processing industries. The element is important to enhance the saturation level of oils and unsaturated fats that are commonly used in margarines. In other industries, hydrogen is essential manufacture methanol as well as hydrochloric acid. Moreover, the gas is needed for processing metallic ores.
In engineering and physics, hydrogen is widely used in atomic hydrogen welding. In addition to this, the element is used in conducting cryogenic studies as well as superconductivity research. It is also important to manufacture airships and balloons.
After learning the various uses of the element, it is necessary to know the hazards associated with the use of hydrogen. It is important to use the gas in a well-ventilated building because it is highly flammable. It is also beneficial to install hydrogen sensors in the place where the element is stored. Aside from the sensors, it is also best to use UV/IR flame detectors.