Some Uses for Hydrogen

The most abundant substance in the universe – and the lightest of all the chemical elements – is an invisible, odorless substance without which we could never live. Humble hydrogen – that “H” on the periodic table – is an essential component of so many substances that we need to live and function in our modern society. Hydrogen is, of course, one part of the water molecule which we need to survive, and which comprises over 70% of our body mass. So, it would be the understatement of all time to say that it is rather important stuff. 

However, when we talk about hydrogen’s omnipresence in our lives, it is easy to start thinking of it as one of those natural constants – like the wind or the trees – that is simply always present and entirely natural. But the element of hydrogen has actually been for many years collected for distinctly human activity. 

To put it another way, hydrogen can be high-tech, and the substance has been used for a range of exciting technologies that have immeasurably improved our quality of life. Hydrogen has been used as everything from fuel to cutting edge nutritional products and from household products to industrial disinfectants. And beyond this, scientists are continually discovering new uses for the smallest and simplest element on the periodic table. 

Products and Applications of Hydrogen

To illustrate this better, it might be worth laying out a few of these innovative uses for hydrogen. It would not be an understatement to say that – to a large extent – hydrogen is basis of our modern world:

Airborne Lifting 

This pretty antiquated use for hydrogen is nevertheless one of the most famous ones. Hydrogen being such a light element, can be used as an agent for achieving lift, just as any substance lighter than air can. Of course, these days hydrogen – which is flammable – is usually passed over for helium as the lifting agent for balloons and other aircraft. Most of us will have heard of the Hindenburg disaster, in which the dangers of hydrogen balloons were made terrifyingly clear. Nevertheless, this use for hydrogen shows well humanity’s centuries-long relationship with the substance. 


That very same flammability, however, has seen hydrogen repurposed as a form of fuel in more recent times. Because of its violent reaction to ignition, it makes for an excellent rocket fuel. And because pure hydrogen produces only water as a waste product, it is also touted as a green fuel of the future. 

Hydrogen-Enriched Water 

To keep with the futuristic uses of hydrogen, the substance is also the main component of hydrogen water, which is water with the pure element added (and not bound to the water molecule, which is how it appears naturally in water). Synergy science, the world leader in hydrogen water, assert that the substance offers a range of health benefits, from reducing fatigue to improving concentration. 

Metal Extraction 

It should come as no surprise that the extraction of metals from their ores (which is how they naturally occur) is an absolutely essential first stage of any industrial process that requires metals. Hydrogen does this via a simple chemical reaction. For example, when tungsten oxide is combined with hydrogen, the pure tungsten is released. That’s where the filaments in our light bulbs come from. Such a use for hydrogen illustrates well how important it is for some of the most essential industrial processes. 

In summary, hydrogen is certainly not one of the substances that humanity is reducing its reliance on. Quite the opposite is true, and we can expect hydrogen to play an even bigger role in our future than it has in our past.