There are two parts to submit for this activity.
Part One: Using the data and observations in the table below, create a heating curve for hydrogen that Dr. Wong can reference during his laboratory testing.
Part Two: Create a model of the atoms of a substance moving through the solid, liquid, and gas states.
Watch the video below on hydrogen gas storage before beginning your activity.
Hydrogen Gas Storage Videoâ€”Text Version
[A woman driving a car through a neighborhood.]
Understanding how atoms behave in different phases can help us to think about ways to create cleaner energy for things like this car I’m driving. Most cars run on gas, which releases carbon dioxide into the atmosphere, contributing to climate change. But what if we could run our cars on something that wasn’t bad for the environment?
[A man holding a hydrogen fuel cell].
Peter Wong, of Tufts University, is thinking about how we can power our vehicles with hydrogen instead of fossil fuels. Hydrogen is used in fuel cells, devices that use hydrogen and oxygen to create electricity.
[Animation of a hydrogen fuel cell that shows three plates, blue with a positive, white, and red with a negative. The H two is going into the blue on the left and the O two is going into the red on the right. An arrow points left from the center white cell into the blue cell labeled O H minus. There is a connection between the negative and positive terminals labeled energy out and water H two O escapes from the top of the cell.]
So what’s really nice about fuel cells is that it uses hydrogen, oxygen from the air, and creates electricity, and the only byproduct is water, which isn’t harmful to our environment.
[A car driving into a gas station and a man pumping gas. People working on hydrogen tanks.]
So we could make hydrogen fuel cell cars right now; however, the gatekeeper for the technology to be used is the storage of the hydrogen. How we produce hydrogen is also an important obstacle in producing cleaner energy for transportation. But Wong is concentrating on the challenge of getting as much hydrogen into one storage space as possible. Hydrogen in the form of a gas is possible, but not economically practical for powering a car.
[Solid, gas, and liquid particles are shown.]
The atoms of gas, as compared to those in a solid or liquid, just take up too much space to have a high enough density for atoms within a given volume to produce enough energy. Wong’s solution is to add solid material in the form of nanofibers inside a container.
[Wong holding a nanofiber and a container. Animation shows the cross section of a container and thin sheets with a bunch of circle cut outs are placed into the container.]
This material is manufactured into sheets that fit inside. These sheets add surface area to the interior of the container, which has the same effect as increasing the volume of the tank, allowing more hydrogen atoms to fit inside. So the challenge is to get more hydrogen molecules into this fixed volume without increasing the weight too much.
Dr. Wong’s assistant made the observations below while heating a sample of solid hydrogen. Using the data and observations in the table below, create a heating curve for hydrogen that Dr. Wong can reference during his laboratory testing. Be sure to include and label the following items in your heating curve:
Create temperature and time intervals that are appropriate for the data.
Don’t start the temperature on the graph at 0 Â°C because the time intervals will be too large for the hydrogen data.
Label the melting and boiling points on the curve.
Label the three states and the two transition phases on the curve.
Hydrogen is a solid at âˆ’263 Â°C. Heat is added to sample.
Hydrogen begins to change into a liquid at âˆ’259 Â°C.
Temperature of the liquid begins to increase.
Hydrogen begins to form a gas at âˆ’253 Â°C.
Temperature of the gas begins to increase.
Final temperature of hydrogen gas is âˆ’245 Â°C.
Create a model of the atoms of a substance moving through the solid, liquid, and gas states. This can be a physical model using household or crafting items or a colorful diagram, illustration, or animation. You can be as creative as you want. Be sure to include and label the following items in your model:
the three states of matter
movement and spacing of molecules
loss or gain of kinetic energy and temperature
transfer of heat
breaking or building of intermolecular bonds
Include one paragraph to explain the movement of energy during phase transitions. View this student example using candy to help spark your own modeling ideas.
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