# Why is the only byproduct of burning hydrogen water?

Feb 21, 2015

The word "hydrogen" is Greek for "water-former".

If fuels are burned, the elements in the fuel combine with oxygen to form oxides. In hydrogen only hydrogen-oxide (=water) can be formed, as no other elements are present.

If hydrogen ${H}_{2}$ is burned, it connects to oxygen ${O}_{2}$ in a ratio of 2:1 as follows:

$2 {H}_{2} + {O}_{2} \to 2 {H}_{2} O$ which is water.

Extra:
Most fuels contain other elements, like carbon ($C$)
Carbon combines with oxygen to carbondioxide ($C {O}_{2}$)

Example : natural gas or methane ($C {H}_{4}$) burns like:

$C {H}_{4} + 2 {O}_{2} \to C {O}_{2} + 2 {H}_{2} O$

So the carbon-atom burns to carbondioxide, and the hydrogen burns to water (vapour).