Hydrogen is the lightest and most abundant element in the universe. But who discovered hydrogen? This post will answer that question and then tell you some uses of hydrogen.
Who Discovered Hydrogen?
Hydrogen gas is very easy to obtain from mixing metals with strong acids. Paracelsus (also known as T. Von Hohenheim) was the first to describe this process. However, he didn’t realize he had produced a completely new element from the reaction. In 1671, Robert Boyle also created hydrogen gas by mixing acid with iron. However, it wasn’t until 1766 that Henry Cavendish recognized hydrogen gas as a unique chemical element.
Summary: Paracelsus was the first to discover hydrogen gas, although he failed to realize this at the time. Henry Cavendish is usually credited with the discovery of hydrogen as an element as he was the first to discover that the gas made by mixing acids with metals was a unique chemical element- hydrogen!
Uses of Hydrogen:
- Used to produce ammonia.
- Used to increase the level of saturation in unsaturated fats and oils. Unsaturated fats are very bad for human health.
- Used to process (sometimes called ‘upgrade’) fossil fuels.
- Used in the production of methanol.
- Used to reduce many metallic ores- allowing the pure metal to be obtained.
- Used to manufacture hydrochloric acid.
- Can be used as a rotor coolant in electrical generators.
- Can be used to produce water.
Other Great Discoveries: