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Hydrogen vs. Oxygen: What's the Difference?

Edited by Sara Rehman || By Sawaira Riaz || Published on December 27, 2023
Hydrogen is the lightest, simplest chemical element with one proton and one electron; oxygen is a more complex element with eight protons and often eight electrons, crucial for combustion and respiration.

Key Differences

Hydrogen, the first element on the periodic table, has just one proton and one electron, making it the simplest and lightest element. Oxygen, on the other hand, with eight protons and usually eight electrons, is more complex and heavier.
Sawaira Riaz
Dec 27, 2023
In water (H2O), hydrogen and oxygen combine in a 2:1 ratio. Two hydrogen atoms bond with one oxygen atom, demonstrating their chemical interplay and distinct roles in forming water molecules.
Sawaira Riaz
Dec 27, 2023
Hydrogen is a colorless, odorless gas at room temperature and is highly flammable. Oxygen, also a colorless and odorless gas at room temperature, supports combustion but is not flammable itself.
Sara Rehman
Dec 27, 2023
Hydrogen is fundamental in various organic compounds and plays a role in acid-base balance in organisms. Oxygen is essential for cellular respiration in aerobic organisms, highlighting its critical biological function.
Janet White
Dec 27, 2023
Hydrogen has diverse applications, including in the production of ammonia and as a clean fuel source. Oxygen is widely used in medical applications, metal cutting and welding, and water treatment processes.
Sawaira Riaz
Dec 27, 2023
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Comparison Chart

Atomic Number

1
8
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Dec 27, 2023

Atomic Weight

Approximately 1.008 amu
Approximately 15.999 amu
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Dec 27, 2023

State at Room Temperature

Gas
Gas
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Dec 27, 2023

Role in Water

Forms two parts of water molecule (H2O)
Forms one part of water molecule
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Dec 27, 2023

Flammability

Highly flammable
Supports combustion but not flammable
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Dec 27, 2023
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Biological Role

Involved in organic compounds and acid-base balance
Essential for cellular respiration
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Dec 27, 2023

Industrial Applications

Used in ammonia production, fuel cells
Used in medical applications, welding, water treatment
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Dec 27, 2023

Hydrogen and Oxygen Definitions

Hydrogen

The lightest chemical element with atomic number 1.
Hydrogen is used in fuel cells to produce clean energy.
Aimie Carlson
Dec 07, 2023

Oxygen

A component of water and necessary for aerobic respiration.
Plants produce oxygen during photosynthesis.
Sara Rehman
Dec 07, 2023

Hydrogen

A colorless, odorless, and highly flammable gas.
The Hindenburg disaster highlighted the dangers of hydrogen's flammability.
Aimie Carlson
Dec 07, 2023

Oxygen

Supports combustion and is vital for life.
Fire requires oxygen to burn.
Janet White
Dec 07, 2023

Hydrogen

A component of water and many organic compounds.
Each molecule of water contains two atoms of hydrogen.
Janet White
Dec 07, 2023

Oxygen

Used in medical, industrial, and environmental applications.
Oxygen tanks are used by scuba divers.
Aimie Carlson
Dec 07, 2023

Hydrogen

An element used in various chemical reactions and processes.
Hydrogen is vital in the Haber process for ammonia synthesis.
Janet White
Dec 07, 2023

Oxygen

A chemical element with atomic number 8, essential for respiration.
Oxygen is administered in hospitals to support patients' breathing.
Aimie Carlson
Dec 07, 2023

Hydrogen

Used in energy production and as a reducing agent.
Hydrogen fuel cells are a promising technology for sustainable energy.
Sara Rehman
Dec 07, 2023

Oxygen

A colorless, odorless gas in its diatomic form, O2.
The Earth's atmosphere contains approximately 21% oxygen.
Sawaira Riaz
Dec 07, 2023

Hydrogen

A colorless, highly flammable element, that occurs as a diatomic molecule, H2, the lightest of all gases and the most abundant element in the universe, used in the production of synthetic ammonia and methanol, in petroleum refining, in the hydrogenation of organic materials, as a reducing atmosphere, in oxyhydrogen torches, in cryogenic research, and in rocket fuels. Atomic number 1; atomic weight 1.00794; melting point -259.1°C; boiling point -252.8°C; density at 0°C 0.08988 gram per liter; valence 1. See Periodic Table.
Sawaira Riaz
Dec 06, 2023

Oxygen

A nonmetallic element constituting 21 percent of the atmosphere by volume that occurs as a diatomic gas, O2, and in many compounds such as water and silica, and in iron ore. It combines with most elements, is essential for plant and animal respiration, and is required for nearly all combustion. Ozone, O3, is an allotrope of this element. Atomic number 8; atomic weight 15.9994; melting point -218.79°C; boiling point -182.9°C; gas density at 0°C 1.429 grams per liter; valence 2. See Periodic Table.
Sawaira Riaz
Dec 06, 2023

Hydrogen

The lightest chemical element (symbol H), with an atomic number of 1 and atomic weight of 1.00794. Category:en:Hydrogen
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Dec 06, 2023

Oxygen

The chemical element (symbol O) with an atomic number of 8 and relative atomic mass of 15.9994. It is a colorless and odorless gas. Category:en:Oxygen
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Dec 06, 2023

Hydrogen

An atom of the element.
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Dec 06, 2023

Oxygen

Molecular oxygen (O2), a colorless, odorless gas at room temperature, also called dioxygen.
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Dec 06, 2023

Hydrogen

Molecular hydrogen (H2), a colourless, odourless and flammable gas at room temperature.
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Dec 06, 2023

Oxygen

(medicine) A mixture of oxygen and other gases, administered to a patient to help them breathe.
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Dec 06, 2023

Hydrogen

A molecule of this molecular species
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Dec 06, 2023

Oxygen

(countable) An atom of this element.
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Dec 06, 2023

Hydrogen

A sample of the element/molecule.
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Dec 06, 2023

Oxygen

(figurative) A condition or environment in which something can thrive.
Silence is the oxygen of shame.
They hoped to starve the terrorists of the oxygen of publicity.
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Dec 06, 2023

Hydrogen

A gaseous element, colorless, tasteless, and odorless, the lightest known substance, being fourteen and a half times lighter than air (hence its use in filling balloons), and over eleven thousand times lighter than water. It is very abundant, being an ingredient of water and of many other substances, especially those of animal or vegetable origin. It may by produced in many ways, but is chiefly obtained by the action of acids (as sulphuric) on metals, as zinc, iron, etc. It is very inflammable, and is an ingredient of coal gas and water gas. It is standard of chemical equivalents or combining weights, and also of valence, being the typical monad. Symbol H. Atomic weight 1.
Sawaira Riaz
Dec 06, 2023

Oxygen

A colorless, tasteless, odorless, gaseous element of atomic number 8, occurring in the free state in the atmosphere, of which it forms about 23 per cent by weight and about 21 per cent by volume, being slightly heavier than nitrogen. Symbol O. Atomic weight 15.9994.
Sawaira Riaz
Dec 06, 2023

Hydrogen

A nonmetallic univalent element that is normally a colorless and odorless highly flammable diatomic gas; the simplest and lightest and most abundant element in the universe
Sawaira Riaz
Dec 06, 2023

Oxygen

Chlorine used in bleaching.
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Dec 06, 2023

Oxygen

A nonmetallic bivalent element that is normally a colorless odorless tasteless nonflammable diatomic gas; constitutes 21 percent of the atmosphere by volume; the most abundant element in the earth's crust
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Dec 06, 2023

FAQs

What is hydrogen primarily used for?

Hydrogen is used in fuel cells, chemical synthesis, and as a reducing agent.
Sawaira Riaz
Dec 27, 2023

Is hydrogen used in space exploration?

Yes, hydrogen is used as a fuel in rockets and space shuttles.
Harlon Moss
Dec 27, 2023

Is hydrogen found in the human body?

Yes, hydrogen is a component of water and organic molecules in the body.
Harlon Moss
Dec 27, 2023

Can hydrogen exist as a liquid?

Yes, hydrogen can be liquefied under very low temperatures and high pressure.
Sawaira Riaz
Dec 27, 2023

Are hydrogen and oxygen found in the Earth's atmosphere?

Yes, but oxygen is much more abundant than hydrogen in the atmosphere.
Harlon Moss
Dec 27, 2023

Why is oxygen important for life?

Oxygen is crucial for cellular respiration in aerobic organisms.
Sara Rehman
Dec 27, 2023

How do plants produce oxygen?

Plants release oxygen as a byproduct of photosynthesis.
Janet White
Dec 27, 2023

What are the dangers of hydrogen?

Hydrogen is highly flammable and can be explosive under certain conditions.
Sawaira Riaz
Dec 27, 2023

How is hydrogen produced industrially?

It's commonly produced by steam reforming of natural gas and electrolysis of water.
Janet White
Dec 27, 2023

Can hydrogen be used in vehicles?

Yes, hydrogen fuel cell vehicles are an emerging technology.
Sawaira Riaz
Dec 27, 2023

Why is oxygen used in metal cutting?

Oxygen supports the combustion process, making metal cutting more efficient.
Harlon Moss
Dec 27, 2023

Can hydrogen be a renewable energy source?

Yes, especially when produced using renewable energy sources.
Harlon Moss
Dec 27, 2023

Is oxygen therapy common in medical treatments?

Yes, particularly for respiratory ailments and emergency care.
Sawaira Riaz
Dec 27, 2023

How does oxygen benefit athletes?

Supplemental oxygen can help athletes recover faster and perform better.
Sawaira Riaz
Dec 27, 2023

What happens when hydrogen burns in the presence of oxygen?

It produces water (H2O) and releases energy.
Aimie Carlson
Dec 27, 2023

Can oxygen be toxic?

In high concentrations, oxygen can be toxic and cause oxidative stress.
Janet White
Dec 27, 2023

How do plants and animals use oxygen?

They use oxygen for cellular respiration to generate energy.
Aimie Carlson
Dec 27, 2023

Is hydrogen part of the Earth's natural water cycle?

Yes, as a component of water, it is integral to the water cycle.
Sawaira Riaz
Dec 27, 2023

What makes oxygen essential in hospitals?

It's vital for patient care, particularly in respiratory therapy and anesthesia.
Janet White
Dec 27, 2023

What role does oxygen play in water treatment?

Oxygen is used in processes like ozonation to purify water.
Aimie Carlson
Dec 27, 2023
About Author
Written by
Sawaira Riaz
Sawaira is a dedicated content editor at difference.wiki, where she meticulously refines articles to ensure clarity and accuracy. With a keen eye for detail, she upholds the site's commitment to delivering insightful and precise content.
Edited by
Sara Rehman
Sara Rehman is a seasoned writer and editor with extensive experience at Difference Wiki. Holding a Master's degree in Information Technology, she combines her academic prowess with her passion for writing to deliver insightful and well-researched content.

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