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Hydrogen gas and oxygen - flammable?

Discussion in 'MCAT Study Question Q&A' started by orangeman25, Jan 13, 2014.

  1. orangeman25

    orangeman25 2+ Year Member

    Sep 7, 2013
    somewhere down south
    So it seems like oxygen gas can't be flammable or that would be a huge problem for lets say, someone about to light up a cigarette. What about hydrogen gas? I've gotten contradicting answers from multiple practice tests on the flammability of these gases so I would appreciate any input!
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  3. IlyaR

    IlyaR 2+ Year Member

    Jun 5, 2013
    H2 is very flammable. The Hindenburg was filled with H2 since it is such a low weight gas
    orangeman25 likes this.
  4. Cmdr_Shepard


    Jan 15, 2014
    To make something burn, you need an oxidizer, fuel and heat. You need all three or you won't have fire.

    Oxygen almost always will be the oxidizer in everyday situations, hydrogen gas is the fuel and a spark or match is the initial heat. Another example is gasoline (carbon chains) in cars. That is the fuel part, oxygen from the air is the oxidizer, and the heat to start is provided by a spark plug (or in the case of diesel fuel, the increase in gas internal energy that accompanies compression).

    Oxygen by itself is not fuel, and hydrogen by itself will not burn if there is no oxygen available.

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