Publication No. 11920
Hydrogen—What a Bang!
Student Laboratory Kit
Materials Included In Kit
Bubble Solution, 200 mL
Hydrochloric acid solution, HCl, 1 M, 500 mL
Magnesium powder, Mg, 8 g
Candles, small, pkg 24, 2
Silicone grease, 1 packet
Stoppers, 1-hole, 15
Test tubes, 16 x 125 mm, Pyrex®, 15
Weighing boats, 15
Wood splints, 30
Additional Materials Required
Beakers, 100-mL, 2 per group
Chemistry of Gases Classroom Equipment Kit (AP5951):
• Gas generating vial caps, plastic, 15
• Latex tubing, 6", 15 pieces
• Syringes (barrel + plunger), 60–mL, 15
• Syringe tip caps, latex, 15
Ring stand with clamp
Gases in the syringe may be under pressure and could spray liquid chemicals. Follow the instructions and only use the quantities suggested. Hydrogen gas is a flammable gas and forms explosive mixtures with air or oxygen. Magnesium powder is a serious fire hazard. Keep magnesium away from all open flames. Hydrochloric acid solution is toxic by inhalation, ingestion and is corrosive to all body tissues. Use care when using matches. Wear chemical splash goggles, chemical-resistant gloves and a chemical-resistant apron. Please consult current Safety Data Sheets for additional safety, handling and disposal information.
Please consult your current Flinn Scientific Catalog/Reference Manual for general guidelines and specific procedures, and review all federal, state and local regulations that may apply, before proceeding. Excess H2 can be released into the air. Excess reagents can be rinsed down the drain with plenty of water according to Flinn Suggested Disposal Method #26b.
Correlation to Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS)†
Science & Engineering PracticesDeveloping and using models
Planning and carrying out investigations
Using mathematics and computational thinking
Constructing explanations and designing solutions
Disciplinary Core IdeasMS-PS1.A: Structure and Properties of Matter
MS-PS1.B: Chemical Reactions
HS-PS1.A: Structure and Properties of Matter
HS-PS1.B: Chemical Reactions
Crosscutting ConceptsSystems and system models
Scale, proportion, and quantity
MS-PS1-2: Analyze and interpret data on the properties of substances before and after the substances interact to determine if a chemical reaction has occurred.
Answers to Questions
Part 1. Preparation of Hydrogen Gas
Part 2. Classic Test for Hydrogen
Part 3. Hydrogen Bubbles
Part 4. Candle Ka-Pow
Special thanks to Bruce Mattson, Creighton University, Omaha, Nebraska for the microscale gas generation and testing procedures used in this kit. For more experiments on microscale gas generation and testing, please purchase Chemistry of Gases: A Microscale Approach, AP4849, from Flinn Scientific, Inc.
Hydrogen—What a Bang!
Explore the explosive properties of hydrogen gas and observe the effect of mixing hydrogen gas with air.
Hydrogen is one of the most unique elements of the periodic table. As a molecule, hydrogen has the formula of H2. It is a colorless, odorless, and tasteless gas that is insoluble in water. It has a freezing point of –252.7 °C (20.3 K). It is one of the most important of the chemical elements. Most people live their entire lives without ever encountering H2, yet we are constantly in contact with and dependent on compounds containing hydrogen. The most familiar compound of hydrogen is water, H2O, which is 2⁄18 or 11% hydrogen by mass but ⅔ hydrogen by atom count. Almost all organic compounds contain hydrogen. Compounds of hydrogen are well represented on the list of major chemicals sold in the United States.
Mg(s) + 2HCl(aq) → MgCl2(aq) + H2(g)
(for each lab group)
Bubble solution, 10 mL
Hydrochloric acid solution, HCl, 1 M, 30 mL
Magnesium powder, Mg, 0.21 g
Beakers, 100-mL, 2
Candles, small, 2
Ring stand with clamp
Syringe (barrel + plunger), 60-mL
Syringe tip cap, latex
Test tube, 16 x 125 mm, Pyrex®
Vial cap, plastic
Gases in the syringe may be under pressure and could spray liquid chemicals. Follow the instructions and only use the quantities suggested. Hydrogen gas is a flammable gas and forms explosive mixtures with air or oxygen. Magnesium powder is a serious fire hazard. Keep magnesium away from all open flames. Hydrochloric acid solution is toxic by inhalation, ingestion and is corrosive to all body tissues. Use care when using matches. Wear chemical splash goggles, chemical-resistant gloves and a chemical-resistant apron. Wash hands thoroughly with soap and water before leaving the laboratory.
Note: Remember that hydrogen gas is lighter than air. Therefore, any time the syringe cap is released, the tip should be facing downward so the hydrogen will not be lost.
After preparing the H2 gas, it is necessary to wash the inside of the syringe in order to remove excess reagents. Follow the steps below and repeat if necessary. This washing procedure, if done properly, will not affect the gas. All traces of the reactants should be washed away before proceeding.
Student Worksheet PDF