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Would hydrogen cations be flammable?

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posted on Jul, 23 2020 @ 06:51 PM
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Serious question. I am a physicist, not a chemist, so I'm a little stumped here.

Apparently the hydrogen given off by some chemical reactions is actually hydrogen cations. Which means, a hydrogen atom... with no electrons. Yes, basically, a proton (except there's apparently some difference in practice).

I am led to believe that flammability is the result of the oxidation of hydrogen, in which hydrogen is by defintion supposed to lose an electron to an oxygen atom.

But if the hydrogen misses electrons, would that not prevent the oxidation from occuring?
edit on 23-7-2020 by swanne because: (no reason given)




posted on Jul, 23 2020 @ 08:05 PM
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a reply to: swanne

Not sure what is the hydrogen given off from splitting of water atoms it was suppose to be combustible according to people who did it to fuel a car with.



posted on Jul, 23 2020 @ 08:22 PM
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a reply to: swanne

It's just a hydrogen ion at that point. Hydron IS flammable as there is nothing stopping a cation from gaining an electron and becoming an atom again (or gaining an additional electron and being a more energetic ion)
edit on 7 23 2020 by projectvxn because: (no reason given)



posted on Jul, 23 2020 @ 08:29 PM
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a reply to: PhilbertDezineck

I think the electrolysis adds back the missing electrons to the atoms when the water splits into oxygen and hydrogen. It takes a lot of electricity to make the reaction happen. It gives up the extra electrons when recombine in a fuel cell as electricity.

I haven't found any information about the flammability of ionic hydrogen as compared to neutral hydrogen.



posted on Jul, 23 2020 @ 10:38 PM
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A 1H+ atom doesn't really exist outside of extreme situations due to the extreme binding energies. There are also several variants of this atom, each with some extra neutrons.

Depending on where this particle is location sort of determines its name. In the cosmic scale, it is called 'Elemental Hydrogen' and has not yet interacted with another atom to bind to. In the liquid form it behaves similar to electrons in conducting materials, existing in a equilibrium-pseudo state often referred to as 'Hydronium'. In gas form, it will forcibly combine into molecular hydrogen.

Oxygen exhibits the same issues in gas form as well, and it is unlikely that oxidation of 1H+ is possible. I cannot say for certain as that gets into quantum chromodynamics and the changing of the baryon types in likely hood.



posted on Jul, 24 2020 @ 09:42 AM
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Physicist asks internet forum for help with chemistry.

Oh the absolute state of humanity.



posted on Jul, 24 2020 @ 11:55 AM
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originally posted by: swanne
Serious question. I am a physicist, not a chemist, so I'm a little stumped here.

Apparently the hydrogen given off by some chemical reactions is actually hydrogen cations. Which means, a hydrogen atom... with no electrons. Yes, basically, a proton (except there's apparently some difference in practice).

I am led to believe that flammability is the result of the oxidation of hydrogen, in which hydrogen is by defintion supposed to lose an electron to an oxygen atom.

But if the hydrogen misses electrons, would that not prevent the oxidation from occuring?
The question you have asked is too undefined to answer. In order to answer it, parameters need to be specified which have not been specified. One way to make the question more specific would be to ask the question: what would be the results of the following experiment, where I use X method to create protons and I use Y method to expose them to Z, where Z is air or oxygen etc.

What I can do is make some assumptions on an experiment and if it's not the one you had in mind, then you need to be more specific. First, look at this global circuit diagram showing there is a relative surplus of electrons near the Earth's surface, and a relative shortage of electrons in the atmosphere (during fair weather).



Now let's say you have some glassware in a lab, and you use a vacuum pump to remove the air, then you inject some "room temperature" protons into the glassware. What will happen then? The protons will bounce around inside the glassware and since the glassware and lab are on the ground, they have access to a surplus of electrons. The protons have a strong affinity for electrons so when they bounce around inside the test tube, they will grab some of the excess electrons shown in the above circuit diagram, and then they will do what Nodrak says, form H2 molecules, so they won't stay protons for very long in that experiment.

So by the time you inject your air or oxygen to see if combustion occurs, it will because you have H2 instead of protons.


originally posted by: Nodrak
In gas form, it will forcibly combine into molecular hydrogen.
yes, if electrons are available, which are readily available on earth.


Oxygen exhibits the same issues in gas form as well, and it is unlikely that oxidation of 1H+ is possible. I cannot say for certain as that gets into quantum chromodynamics and the changing of the baryon types in likely hood.
That wouldn't be burning or combustion if you're talking about quantum chromodynamics. Combustion is a chemical process not involving quantum chromodynamics, however, scientists to have a "sloppy" way of using the word "burn" when they talk about "burning" hydrogen in the sun, which is really nuclear fusion, and that kind of "burning" which is not really "burning" in the combustion sense does involve quantum chromodynamics. I think they know that terminology is a bit confusing to call nuclear fusion in the sun "burning hydrogen" but they do it anyway.

But my interpretation of Swanne's question is that he is not talking about that kind of burning, so it wouldn't involve QCD. That's because he says the question is about chemistry, and chemistry does not involve quantum chromodynamics, or nuclear fusion "burning" of hydrogen in the sun, that's not in the scope of chemistry.

edit on 2020724 by Arbitrageur because: clarification



posted on Jul, 24 2020 @ 12:37 PM
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Yea I realized after I posted that technically 1H+ is an Oxidizer, and it will oxidize H- into molecular H2.

H− + H+ → H2; ΔH = −1676 kJ/mol

Which is ironically more energetic than typical oxidation:

2 H2(g) + O2(g) → 2 H2O(l) + 572 kJ (286 kJ/mol)
edit on 24-7-2020 by Nodrak because: (no reason given)



posted on Jul, 24 2020 @ 06:22 PM
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a reply to: Nodrak

Where is the H- coming from though?

This is why I told Swanne his question wasn't well-defined and I tried to provide a context to answer it in a laboratory setting on Earth's surface at say room temperature. So I don't know what assumptions you're making, but I don't expect to find much H- in the conditions I described of a lab setting on Earth, though it's abundant in the sun and upper atmosphere, both regions being quite unlike a lab on the Earth's surface.

Quantum mechanics says anything that can happen will happen but the most likely events occur more frequently so that might actually happen to some degree even in a lab, but I'd expect the predominant process to be protons grab an electron from the glassware forming hydrogen atoms, and the hydrogen atoms form a covalent bond releasing about 436 kJ/mol, settling in the energy valley on this graph:

Valence Bond Treatment for H2 Molecule


I don't know why the text says 435.8 kJ/mol and the graph shows 432 kJ/mol, that's a mystery I haven't solved, LOL.

But you can disrupt that scenario by instead of using room temperatures, use high temperatures, and high temperatures are what we find in the sun, so we see different processes taking place there.



posted on Jul, 25 2020 @ 12:12 PM
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A naked proton is not hydrogen



posted on Jul, 25 2020 @ 03:24 PM
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originally posted by: 00018GE
A naked proton is not hydrogen
True but put naked protons in the atmosphere at standard temperature and pressure and it doesn't stay a naked proton for long, it will very quickly become hydrogen. Even if you form a vacuum in glassware, and put protons in the vacuum inside glassware, the electrons in the glassware are not tightly bound and the protons will easily combine with those to form hydrogen atoms and H2 molecules.

If you want naked protons to stay naked protons, you need special conditions which are not described in the opening post.



posted on Aug, 3 2020 @ 07:01 PM
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a reply to: Arbitrageur

You have correctly interpreted my question, indeed I am referring to the chemical sense of "burning".

I do believe that you have provided the best answer, it does basically solves my question.

Q: "Would hydrogen cations burn in contact with the atmosphere?"

A: "As those hydrogens would quickly gain electrons unless specially kept, yes."

I wish I could give you an applause; as usual, you provide valuable, yet straight-to-the-point content.

Thanks mate.


edit on 3-8-2020 by swanne because: (no reason given)



posted on Aug, 3 2020 @ 07:25 PM
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a reply to: Arbitrageur

Pretty much gotta put them in a magnetic bottle in order to isolate them.




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