Four Different Ways to Make Hydrogen Gas

Hydrogen, the first element on the Periodic Table of Elements, and it’s flammable! Here are four different ways to produce this gas and have fun with it.


It has the atomic number of 1; which means it has one proton in it’s nucleus. It is a flammable gas which when combusts, produces water vapor.

2H2 (g) + O2 (g) = 2H2O (g)

Hydrogen + Oxygen = Water Vapour

Method #1

Calcium in Water: Ca (s) + 2H2O (l) = Ca(OH)2 (l) + H2 (g)

Calcium + Water = Calcium Hydroxide + Hydrogen

Almost all the alkaline earth metals react with water vigorously producing hydrogen gas. In return, the Calcium turns into Calcium Hydroxide (solution). Obtain a piece of calcium metal (not too big) and drop it into a glass bottle. If it has little or no oxidation, it should react very quickly. When it is severely oxidated, it might take a while to react or do so very slowly. This also works with Strontium or Barium.

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Method #2

Water seperating by electricity: 2H2O (l) = 2H2 (g) + O2 (g)

Water = Hydrogen + Oxygen

As most of us know, water is a compound containing hydrogen and oxygen atoms bonded together. When we electricute this water, those atoms seperate into free hydrogen and oxygen gas. This is mainly done with a good conductor of electricity, usually graphite (the lead in pencils). Take a 9V battery and attach two wires to the – and + ends of the battery. Then attach the two other ends to two graphite poles. Drop the graphite into the water and wait. The – end should bubble more than the other one, this is hydrogen. The + end should also bubble, but less than the other one; this is due to 2 hydrogen atoms with every one oxygen atom: H2O. If you can isolate the hydrogen bubbles in a tube or so, you can burn it.

Method #3

Sodium Hydroxide and Aluminum: 2Al (s) + 6NaOH (aq) –> 3H2 (g) + 2Na3AlO3 (aq)

Aluminum + Sodium Hydroxide = Hydrogen + Sodium Aluminate

This is a very popular method as sodium hydroxide is readily available clogged drain cleaner, and all the other ingredients are water and aluminum (foil)! You mix the sodium hydroxide with water forming a medium-strong base. The water may heat up during the dissolving of atoms. Add the aluminum foil to the liquid and they will begin to react forming hydrogen gas. This is normally contained in a glass bottle as it is very exothermic.

Method #4

Zinc and Hydrochloric Acid: Zn (s) + 2HCl (l) = ZnCl2 (l)+ H2 (g)

Zinc + Hydrochloric Acid = Zinc Chloride + Hydrogen

This is an easy way to do as most school labs have these two substances. Just put the Zinc unto the acid and wait, they will react. This is done with most reactive metals, and some unreactive. Iron filings and Hydrochloric Acid will react, aluminum too. These will all make hydrogen gas.


Hydrogen is a very fun element to play with, as it is so light; lighter than Helium! Also, lets not forget to mention burning it. I hope you liked my guide and if you did, please click on that “I Like It” button below and comment. Good luck, and be careful!

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