Fact sheet n°1 : The evolution of the use of hydrogen

What is hydrogen? 

Atome d'hydrogène

It is the simplest and most common atom. It consists of a single proton and a single electron. It is also the most common chemical element in the universe, accounting for three quarters of the universe’s mass.

The discovery of hydrogen

the story of hydrogen

Early uses of hydrogen 

Fiches pédagogiques (1)

1800 : Half of the lighting gas is hydrogen / 1878 : The inflatable balloon is filled with dihydrogen

The airship 

Le dirigeable

Hydrogen, which is 11 times lighter than air, was also used in airships … until 6th may 1937 when the Hindenburg airship crashed in New Jersey.  

This tragic accident along with planes growing popularity led to the end of airships uses. 

Hydrogen as a raw material

H2 as a raw material

After World War II, hydrogen found new usages in the industry (petrochemistry, steel industry, food-processing…) as a raw material.

Space uses for hydrogen?

Fiches pédagogiques Fusée

Hydrogen also found new applications in space

– As a fuel, a mix of liquid hydrogen and oxygen is used to throw space rockets such as Ariane 5 and Saturn V

As a reliable power supply system in space missions (Apollo, Gemini) through the development of compact 5 kW fuel cells.


New applications for hydrogen

Hydrogen as an energy carrier?

Produced from zero-emission or renewable electricity:

Production d'électricité

Hydrogen could then be stored, transported and used in all kind of energy applications such as fuel for instance. 

Applications hydrogène

For one purpose

image fact sheet 1