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Essay by PaperNerd ContributorCollege, Undergraduate April 2001

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Hydrogen makes up seventy-five percent of the earth's mass.

Hydrogen is usually found on earth in combination with oxygen, carbon, and nitrogen. To be used it must be separated from these.

Hydrogen is a very safe element when used as an energy source, it emits nothing into the air but water. It also has more uses then electricity.

Hydrogen is primarily used in manufacturing ammonia, petroleum refining, hydrogen peroxide, and in the synthesis of methanol. It is also used to retrieve metals from their compounds because it is a good reducing agent. It can also be used in space shuttles for fuel, to provide heat, electricity, and drinking water.

In the near future hydrogen may be used as a fuel for automobiles, planes, and to provide power in homes. The most likely use of hydrogen to occur first would be in cars. Internal combustion engines can already be fueled by pure hydrogen or some hydrogen blends.

Cars can also be powered by hydrogen fuel cells which have three times the power of gasoline powered cars. The same kind of fuel cells can also provide heat for the cars or farther in the future, in homes. Hydrogen is also used in nuclear weapons. It can be used in missiles, artillery shells, bombs, mines, and torpedoes. When a plutonium or uranium atom is split energy is released and some of the electrons will pair up with hydrogen to create an explosion.

In thermonuclear weapons the same thing occurs except that the electrons pair up with hydrogen isotopes.

Hydrogen can be separated from it's usual combinations with different methods.

Photoconversion production uses bacteria or algae to take in sunlight, these bacteria then split water and produce hydrogen.

These bacteria have natural metabolic functions that produce hydrogen.

Thermochemical production uses heat to make hydrogen...