Palladium with hydrogen

Hydrogen is ignited by palladium metal


Fire and Flame 30 - Palladium with Hydrogen

by Royal Society Of Chemistry


Wear eye protection goggles. There is a serious fire risk - a fire extinguisher should be ready.

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Reaction formula

2H2 + O2 -[Pd]→ 2H2O


  1. Hydrogen
  2. Palladium

Step-by-step instruction

  1. Connect a Bunsen burner with a hydrogen balloon in order to feed hydrogen via the burner.
  2. Take some palladium powder with a cotton swab.
  3. Open a burner outlet to feed hydrogen and introduce the cotton swab into the gas current. After a few seconds hydrogen ignites.

Scientific background

A mixture of hydrogen and oxygen is highly flammable and it is easy to ignite it. Palladium catalyzes the reaction between hydrogen and oxygen, and hydrogen becomes flammable.


Published on 14 June 2015

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