Hydrogen-fluorine explosion

Violent explosion of gaseous mixture

Scientific name: Oxidation of hydrogen with fluorine


Reaction of fluorine with hydrogen


Wear eye protection goggles. Fluorine is a poisonous gas! Work in a fume hood or outdoors. The power of the explosion is quite strong. Keep away from experimental facility.

Always follow general safety recommendations. Please note that conducting chemistry experiments you must comply with the relevant legal procedures in your country.

Reaction formula

H2 + F2 → 2 HF


  1. Fluorine
  2. Hydrogen

Step-by-step instruction

WARNING! This experiment is dangerous! You should NOT perform this at home. ONLY carry out this experiment, if you are a trained chemist, and you understand local safety and legal requirements, which are required to perform such experiments

  1. Inflate a balloon with two liters of hydrogen from a gas cylinder.
  2. Connect the balloon to a vessel with fluorine.
  3. Turn on the supply of fluorine.
  4. Observe a powerful explosion.

Scientific background

Fluorine is the most electronegative element with an incomplete electron shell. Based on this fact, we can expect very strong oxidative activity of fluorine.

Hydrogen is a good reducing agent. The well-known reaction between chlorine and hydrogen is accompanied by an explosion. Fluorine is a stronger oxidant than chlorine, therefore the explosion in this case is stronger, and the reaction does not require activation.


Published on 30 June 2015

  • Fire
  • Heating with fire
  • Explosion
  • Poisoned gas
  • Organic
  • Electricity
  • Solution
  • Oxidation reduction
  • Color change
  • Precipitate
  • Gassing
  • Catalyst