Hydrogen Is A Part Of Life
Users of hydrogen are as varied as today's global marketplace. Hydrogen is a key component in the manufacture of chemicals especially ammonia and methanol. It is used in large quantities in refineries for manufacturing gasoline and heating oil. It is used to make fertilizers, glass, refined metals, vitamins, cosmetics, semiconductor circuits, soaps, lubricants, cleaners, margarine, peanut butter and rocket fuel. Hydrogen fuel holds much promise for a future in which everyone can have energy that is efficient and clean. The properties of hydrogen are well known to a variety of producers of consumer goods and services, and understanding the special properties of hydrogen is necessary for its safe use. Can hydrogen be safely handled? The answer is yes.
Millions of pounds of hydrogen are used daily in production plants across the country and around the world (50 million pounds daily in the U.S. alone). The National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) is the largest user of liquid hydrogen in the world. But the public's impression of hydrogen is often the consequence of one well-published incident the Hindenburg. In fact, the Hindenburg did not explode; it did, tragically, catch fire. In 1937 when the accident occurred, the practice was to allow the hydrogen to be stored in highly combustible materials, a practice which current safety regulations do not permit.
What is often not acknowledged about the Hindenburg tragedy is that because hydrogen dissipates quickly, no Hindenburg fatality was the result of a burn from hydrogen.
Most hydrogen today is derived from light hydrocarbons, ammonia processes and byproducts , the electrolysis of water, or taken as a by-product of petroleum production and chlorine manufacture. It is distributed by pipeline, over-the-road trailers and rail and barge, via small portable containers.
Hydrogen can be handled safely when guidelines for its safe storage, handling and use are observed. Hydrogen is a fuel. To be a fuel it must have combustible properties. Hydrogen's combustion properties warrant the same caution any fuel should be given, and some cautions which are unique to hydrogen.

Hydrogen Gas "Town Gas" Once Lit up

America in the 1800's and early 1900's


In towns and cities all across America, lamplighters once lit gas street lights at dusk. Inside middle class homes, gas lamps provided light while gas heaters provided warmth. The gas that fueled the lights and furnaces of an earlier America was not the natural gas of today, but a hydrogen-rich mixture called "town gas."
Town gas was manufactured from coal and mainly consisted of raw hydrogen, some methane and small amounts of CO2 and CO. (Town gas or hydrogen gas is still used extensively in some parts of the world, such as China and other Asian countries).
Once vast natural gas fields were discovered, long-distance pipelines got laid linking the producing states of the Southwest and Gulf to the consumer states in the Northeast and Midwest. Utility companies stopped manufacturing town gas and switched to natural gas. Today, more than 1.2 million miles of natural gas pipeline criss-cross.
Unknown to most people today there are over 700 miles of hydrogen pipeline in the U.S., Germany and England right now! This is small compared to natural gas systems, but it is important to note that there are hydrogen pipelines in operation today that deliver gas to the user without incident. From the town gas experience of the past, to the hydrogen gas experience of today, a solid foundation of knowledge has been established on how to handle hydrogen safely.
Hydrogen Is A Fuel
Hydrogen, in its liquid form, has been used as a fuel in space vehicles for years. Hydrogen has a high combustion energy per pound relative to any other fuel, meaning hydrogen is more efficient on a weight basis than fuels currently used in air or ground transportation. This weight factor makes hydrogen an attractive fuel.
Hydrogen is both flammable and buoyant. It is flammable over a wider range of concentrations than either gasoline or natural gas but due to its buoyancy, it dissipates more rapidly than either of these fuels in a spill. Hydrogen gas, like other gases used today, should be used in areas that can be ventilated.
Hydrogen can and has been used safely when guidelines for its proper handling and storage are observed. Individuals who work with hydrogen systems are trained in hydrogen's safe handling and use by observing precautions like: preventing hydrogen leaks, taking proper action if leaks occur, eliminating the opportunity for leaked hydrogen to accumulate and eliminating sources of ignition.
Hydrogen fuel is unique. It is clean. Its primary combustion by-product is clean water vapor. Hydrogen is versatile. It can be used in applications requiring electricity or gas, and it can link the fossil-based energy supply of today with the renewable energy tomorrow.
As the cost of hydrogen comes down and its availability increases, interest in its use as a fuel will intensify. Therefore public awareness of hydrogen safety is essential.


Hydrogen is a colorless, odorless, tasteless, flammable and nontoxic gas at atmospheric temperatures and pressures. It is the lightest gas known, being only some seven one hundredths as heavy as air. Hydrogen is present in the atmosphere, occurring in concentrations of only about 0.01 per cent by volume at lower altitudes.
Hydrogen burns in air with a pale blue/green, almost invisible flame. Its ignition temperature will not vary greatly from 1050 F in mixtures with either air or oxygen at atmospheric pressure. Its flammable limits in dry air at atmospheric pressure are 4.1 to 74.32 per cent hydrogen by volume. In dry oxygen at atmospheric pressure, the flammable limits are 4.7 to 93.9 per cent hydrogen by volume. Its flammable limits in air or oxygen vary some what with initial pressure, temperature and water vapor content.
When cooled to its boiling point of - 423 F. hydrogen becomes a transparent and odorless liquid only one-fourteenth as heavy as water. All gases except helium become solids at the temperature of liquid hydrogen. Because of its extremely low temperature, it can make ductile or pliable materials with which it comes in contact brittle and easily broken (an effect that must be considered whenever liquid hydrogen is handled). Liquid hydrogen has a relatively high thermal coefficient of expansion compared with other cryogenic liquids.The hydrogen molecule exists in two forms: ortho and para, named according to their types of nuclear spin. (Ortho-hydrogen molecules have a parallel spin; para-hydrogen molecules, an anti-parallel spin.) There is no difference in the chemical properties of these forms, but there is a difference in physical properties. Para-hydrogen is the form preferred for rocket fuels. Hydrogen consists of about three parts ortho and one part para as a gas at room temperature. The equilibrium concentration of para increases with decreasing temperature until, as a liquid, the para concentration is nearly 100 per cent. If hydrogen should be cooled and liquefied rapidly, the relative three-to-one concentration of ortho to para would not immediately change. Conversion to the para form takes place at a relatively slow rate and is accompanied by the release of heat. For each pound of rapidly cooled liquid hydrogen that changes to the para form, enough heat is liberated to vaporize 1.5 lb of liquid hydrogen. However, if a catalyst is used in the liquefaction cycle, para-hydrogen can be produced directly without loss from self-generated heat.
Throttled expansion from high to low pressure at ordinary temperatures cools most common gases (such as oxygen, nitrogen and carbon dioxide). Hydrogen, though, is an exception, becoming heated to a slight extent under these conditions (increasing about 10 F in temperature, for example, when throttled from 2000 psig to atmospheric pressure).
Hydrogen diffuses rapidly through porous materials and through some metals at red heat. It may leak out of a system which is gas tight for air or other common gases at equivalent pressures.
In its chemical properties, hydrogen is fundamentally a reducing agent and is frequently applied as such in organic chemical technology.

Other Hydrogen Data


CAS Registry Number 1333-74-0

D.O.T Class Flammable Gas

D.O.T. Label Red (Flammable)


International symbol H2
Molecular weight 2.016
Specific gravity of gas at 32 F and 1 aim (air = 1) 0.06950
Specific volume at 70 F and 1 atm, cu ft/lb 192.0
Density of gas at 70 F and 1 atm, Ib/cu ft 0.005209
Density of gas at boiling point and 1 atm, Ib/cu ft 0.084
Density of liquid at boiling point and 1 arm, Ib/cu ft 4.428
Liquid/gas ratio   
(liquid at boiling point, gas at 70 F and 1 atm),vol/vol 1/850.1
Boiling point at 1 atm - 423.0 F
Freezing point at 1 atm - 434.6 F
Critical temperature - 399.91 F
Critical pressure, psia 190.8
Triple point -434.56F at 1.0414 psia
Latent heat of vaporization at boiling point, Btu/lb 192.7
Specific heat, Cp, at 70 F. Btu/(lb)(°F) 3.416
Specific heat, Cu. at 70 F. Btu/(lb)(°F) 2.430
Ratio of specific heats, Cp/Cu, at 70 F 1.41
Heat of combustion, Btu/cu ft  
Gross 325
Net 275
Solubility in water at 60 F. vol/1 vol of water 0.019
Weight per gallon, liquid, at boiling point, lb 0.5920


Equivalent Energy Source Cubic Meter
H2 Gas
Cubic Foot
H2 Gas
Liquid H2
Liquid H2
Gasoline Liters  0.352 0.00929 0.279 1.06 3.93 1.78
Methanol Liters  0.676 0.0178 0.536 2.03 7.55 3.41
Diesel Liters  0.279 0.00737 0.221 0.837 3.12 1.41
Jet Fuel Liters  0.287 0.00757 0.227 0.860 3.20 1.45
Methane (scf)  11.4 0.301 9.05 34.2 128 57.6
Propane (scf)  4.48 0.118 3.55 13.4 50.1 22.6
Butane (scf)  3.45 0.091 2.73 10.3 38.5 17.4
Coal Anthracite (Tons)  0.000397 0.0000105 0.000315 0.00119 0.00444 0.0020
Coal Bituminous (Tons)  0.000392 0.0000104 0.000311 0.00118 0.00438 0.00198
Coal Lignite (Tons)  0.000731 0.0000193 0.000579 0.00219 0.00816 0.00369
Barrels of Crude  0.00176 0.0000466 0.00140 0.00529 0.0197 0.00890
Gasoline Gallons  0.0930 0.00246 0.0737 0.279 1.04 0.469
Methanol Gallons  0.179 0.00471 0.142 0.535 1.99 0.901
Diesel Gallons  0.0738 0.00195 0.0584 0.221 0.824 0.372
Jet Fuel Gallons  0.076 0.00200 0.0600 0.227 0.846 0.382
H2 Gas Cubic Meters (STP) 1.0 0.0264 0.792 3.0 11.2 5.04
H2 Gas Cubic Feet (NTP) 37.9 1.0 30.0 114 423 191
H2 Liquid Liters (nbp)  1.26 0.0333 1.0 3.78 14.1 6.40
H2 Liquid Gallons (nbp) 0.334 0.00880 0.264 1.0 3.72 1.69
H2 Kilograms 0.0896 0.00236 0.0709 0.268 1.0 0.454
H2 Pounds  0.198 0.00521 0.156 0.592 2.20 1.0
H2 Tons  0.0000987 0.0000026 0.0000782 0.000296 0.0011 0.00050
Electricity KW-hours 3.00 0.0791 2.38 8.99 33.5 15.1
Electricity MW-hours 0.003 0.0000791 0.00238 0.00899 0.0335 0.0151
H2 High HV gigajoules  0.0128 0.00034 0.0101 0.0383 0.143 0.0644
H2 High HV million Btus 0.0121 0.000319 0.0096 0.0363 0.135 0.0610
H2 High HV Btu  12,100 319 9,600 36,300 135,000 61,000
H2 High HV kilocalories 3,100 80.5 2,400 9,100 34,100 15,400
H2 Low HV gigajoules  0.0108 0.000285 0.0086 0.0324 0.121 0.0544
H2 Low HV million Btus  0.0102 0.000270 0.0081 0.0307 0.114 0.0516
H2 Low HV Btu  10,200 270 8,100 30,700 114,000 51,600
H2 Low HV kilocalories  2,000 68 2,040 7,700 28,800 13,000


A gram of hydrogen gas occupies about 11 liters (2.9 gallons) of space at atmospheric pressure
Hydrogen is an important commercial chemical. It is prepared industrially by two processes: the "water gas reaction" using coke and water (equation 1), and the steam reforming process using natural gas and water (equation 2). Both reactions require high temperatures.
C(s) + H2O(g) CO(g) + H2(g) (1)
CH4(g) + H2O(g) CO(g) + 3 H2(g) (2)

A subject of much current interest in chemistry is the conversion of synthesis gas (CO + H2) to other products such as methanol (equation 5) and liquid hydrocarbons (equation 6). These substances could be used as synthetic fuels, such as substitutes for gasoline and diesel fuel.
CO(g) + 2 H2(g) CH3OH(l) (5)
nCO(g) + 2n+1 H2(g) CnH2n+2(l) + n H2O(l) (6)
The mixture of products from these two reactions is often called synthesis gas or syngas. The carbon monoxide in this gaseous mixture can be made to react with more water in the "water gas shift reaction" (equation 3) to produce hydrogen and CO2.
CO(g) + H2O(g) CO2(g) + H2(g)(3)
The CO2 is then easily removed by passing this gas through a solution of sodium hydroxide. The carbon dioxide reacts and dissolves (equation 4), leaving pure hydrogen.
CO2(g) + 2 OH(aq) CO32(aq) + H2O(l) (4)

Currently about 40% of the hydrogen produced industrially is used in the preparation of ammonia by the Haber process. Ammonia's primary use is as an agricultural fertilizer. A large portion of manufactured ammonia is also used in the production of nitric acid. Oxidation of NH3 gives H2O and NO2, and the latter can be converted to nitric acid, HNO3.
The Synthesis gas process may dominate the majority of all future hydrogen production world wide by as early as 2008
The world is hungry for sulfur free Diesel fuel and the synthesis gas process may be the easiest way to accomplish this.

How much will Hydrogen fuel cost?
Current cost target is US$2.50 per kg of
hydrogen, a benchmark set by the US Department of
Energy. On a heating value basis, a kilogram of hydrogen
is approximately equivalent to a US gallon of gasoline.
Since fuel cell vehicles are expected to be two to three
times more efficient than those equipped with internal
combustion engines, this cost is equivalent to a gasoline
cost of US $1.00 per gallon for an equivalent range.
How much water is used to make Hydrogen?
"If turned one gallon of water back into oxygen and hydrogen gases it could fill up your entire home"
Electrolysis does not require significant amounts of water.
The hydrogen extracted from a gallon of water using a
hydrogen generator could drive a hydrogen fuel
cell vehicle as far as gasoline vehicles travel today on a
gallon of gasoline.

GAS VOLUME - Water broken down in elements.
One gram molecular weight of any gas occupies about 21 L at standard temp
and pressure. O2 = 32 grams per 21 L
H2 = 2 grams per 21 L.
I L of H20 has about 55.55 moles of water.
1 cubic foot of water is 28.32 L.
28.32 X 55.55 =2128.9 moles which brakes down to 2128.9 moles of hydrogen X
21L = 44704 L H2 plus 22352 L O2. Total 44704 + 22352 = 67057 L or 2367
cubic feet of gases.

Just for fun - facts and data

"Aluminum is not expensive because it is rare. It is actually one of the most abundant metals on the surface of the earth (#9) Aluminum is expensive because of the great amounts of electrical power used to refine it"

The super battery called Aluminum - The unseen super-battery of the future.
ALUMINUM DATA - (Something to think about??????)
1 gram of Al = 0.0370 moles
Each mole Al yields 3 moles of electrons.
0.0370 moles x 3 x 96500 C/mole = 10700 Coulombs
An Amp is a Coulomb per second, so one Amp flow would last 10700s.
10700 amp-s / 3600 s/hr =~ 3 Amp-Hours per gram of aluminum.
At 14g per beer can, that comes to about 42 Amp-Hrs per can!!!
At 2 volts, that's about 300 kJ per can! And you thought only the beer kicked butt !!! : )
A 20 lb. slab of aluminum has enough energy to power an electric car for over 500 miles.
Aluminum is one of the most abundant metals on the surface of the earth. Aluminum is not expensive because it is rare. It is expensive because its takes so much electrical power to deoxidize it.
All this electrical power is now caught in a solid form as Aluminum metal. (Aluminum is a powerful battery)
When aluminum is dissolved most of the electrical power that was used to create it can be easily recaptured. The next time you pick up a roll of aluminum foil you will realize that you are actually holding a lot of potential horse power in the palm of your hands.

Aluminum is produced by corporations that buy electricity at well under a penny per

KWH making aluminum the largest untapped source of potential cheap power.


(At least for the short run, the Aluminum energy frenzy will drive the price of aluminum up as all of the old aluminum reserves are stripped of their electric energy potential while being dissolved away in electrolytic cells thus turning it back into Bauxite)


When you buy aluminum you are mainly paying for the electricity that made it.

Electricity that was bought at bottom of the barrel wholesale pricing.



Understanding Aluminum - Aluminum history, A great story http://www.geocities.com/bioelectrochemistry/hall.htm

After reading this you will understand that great amounts of power are used to make

aluminum and that all this power is still bound inside the metal and can be released at will.

This site shows you how to make your own solar panels! (Just for fun)
One of the most educational solar demonstrations we have ever seen.