Can hydrogen burn in the absence of oxygen?

Does hydrogen have to burn in the presence of oxygen to create water as a by product of the process?

Update:

At the creation of the Universe, would nuclear reaction in Stars (burning hydrogen) create oxygen to combine with elemental hydrogen to make water? If not, what is the source of the ice in asteroids and comets?

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  • Who
    Lv 7
    9 years ago
    Favourite answer

    Nope it dont need free oxygen (i,e the gas) - It DOES need an oxydising agent, but it dont need to be free oxygen (the oxygen forms part of the oxydising agent molecule, but it could be a solid)

    Nuclear reaction (fusion) aint the burning of anything and it dont create water, and neither oxygen nor an oxydising agent is required.

    The ice came from the burning(oxydisation) of hydrogen, somewhere in space

    The oxygen (or oxidising agent) came well after the big bang when some elements condensed as HUGE amount of energy cooled down.

  • Anonymous
    9 years ago

    Everything, including hydrogen, needs oxygen to burn.

  • 9 years ago

    Of course it does. Water is H2O, so how do you propose hydrogen alone could burn and spontaneously produce the oxygen part of the water molecule?

  • 9 years ago

    "Burn" is a colloquial term for "combustion". http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Combustion

    This chemical reaction happens in the presence of oxygen; therefore: no oxygen, no combustion. The atoms don't change, they just connect and release an excess energy (because combustion is an exothermal reaction).

    HOWEVER, in astronomy it is usually (ab)used the term "burn" when colloquially referring to nuclear fusion. This is different from combustion, in that it's not a (re)combination of atoms, but an actual reaction between the atoms (ions, actually) which changes them. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nuclear_fusion This too releases energy, but at a much higher quantity than in typical chemical reactions (even explosions), but a factor of typically around 1 million.

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  • 9 years ago

    I'm not 100% certain, but I don't think it would be able to. After all, you need oxygen to ignite fire, so with the absense of oxygen, there can't be fire. However, I'm not a scientist and I'm only going off the knowledge I already have, and I don't know much about chemical fire.

    Source(s): Science class of course
  • za
    Lv 7
    9 years ago

    Yes. It can 'burn' in chlorine to make hydrogen chloride. And there are a lot of other substances as well.

  • 9 years ago

    To make water (H2O) you need to have both hydrogen (H) and oxygen (O) react.

  • 9 years ago

    Yes

  • Anonymous
    9 years ago

    No.

    Any fire requires three elements: Source of heat, fuel, oxygen

    the burning of Hydrogen and Oxygen DOES not produce water.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hydrogen

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