Hydrogen - Research Article from Macmillan Encyclopedia of Energy

This encyclopedia article consists of approximately 13 pages of information about Hydrogen.
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Characteristics of Hydrogen as a Fuel

Table 1 summarizes some physical characteristics of hydrogen relevant to its use as a fuel. Specifically,

  • • Hydrogen is a low-density gas at ambient conditions. It liquefies at –253°C. For storage hydrogen must be compressed or liquefied.
  • • Hydrogen has the highest heating value per kilogram of any fuel (which makes it attractive as rocket fuel), although it has the lowest molecular weight. The specific heat of hydrogen is higher than that of other fuels.
  • • Hydrogen has a wider range of flammability limits and a lower ignition energy than other fuels.
  • • Hydrogen can be used with very little or no pollution for energy applications. When hydrogen is burned in air, the main combustion product is water, with traces of nitrogen oxides. When hydrogen is used to produce electricity in a fuel cell, the only emission is water vapor.

Historical Perspective

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This section contains 3,687 words
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Macmillan Encyclopedia of Energy
Hydrogen from Macmillan Encyclopedia of Energy. Copyright © 2001-2006 by Macmillan Reference USA, an imprint of the Gale Group. All rights reserved.
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