09.05.2022 | Everywhere, but never alone
Hydrogen is the smallest and lightest chemical element, and one of the most common in the universe. It is a component of water and, in addition to carbon, a basic element for all life on our planet. It is everywhere, but never alone.
In our everyday lives, hydrogen does not occur in atomic form, but instead as a diatomic molecule (chemical symbol: H2, a colourless, tasteless, odourless gas). Hydrogen liquefies at -253 °C and solidifies at -259 °C. Because it is so tiny and light, it can easily pass through porous materials or the smallest leaks.
In addition, hydrogen has a very high energy density: A kilogram of hydrogen is as energy-rich as three kilograms of petrol or diesel.
In contrast to the universe, on earth hydrogen in its elementary form occurs only in traces: in the earth's atmosphere and in volcanic gases. As a rule, it is chemically bonded, mainly in water (H2O). This is also the basis for the chemical symbol "H" for hydrogen, in Latin hydrogenium which means "water creator".
Hydrogen is also a component of other inorganic matter such as acids or salt-like substances. It is a component in most organic matter like carbon compounds, for example carbohydrates, fats and proteins, as well as oil and natural gas.