Chemistry » Metals, Metalloids, and Nonmetals » Occurrence, Preparation, and Compounds of Hydrogen

Summarizing Occurrence, Preparation, and Compounds of Hydrogen

Key Concepts and Summary

Hydrogen is the most abundant element in the universe and its chemistry is truly unique. Although it has some chemical reactivity that is similar to that of the alkali metals, hydrogen has many of the same chemical properties of a nonmetal with a relatively low electronegativity.

It forms ionic hydrides with active metals, covalent compounds in which it has an oxidation state of 1− with less electronegative elements, and covalent compounds in which it has an oxidation state of 1+ with more electronegative nonmetals. It reacts explosively with oxygen, fluorine, and chlorine, less readily with bromine, and much less readily with iodine, sulfur, and nitrogen.

Hydrogen reduces the oxides of metals with lower reduction potentials than chromium to form the metal and water. The hydrogen halides are all acidic when dissolved in water.

Glossary

Haber process

main industrial process used to produce ammonia from nitrogen and hydrogen; involves the use of an iron catalyst and elevated temperatures and pressures

hydrogen halide

binary compound formed between hydrogen and the halogens: HF, HCl, HBr, and HI

hydrogenation

addition of hydrogen (H2) to reduce a compound

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