Production of Hydrogen

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In this chemistry activity, learners use mossy zinc (or a galvanized nail) and hydrochloric acid to generate hydrogen gas and test some of its properties. This resource includes brief questions for learners to answer after the experiment. Use this activity to introduce learners to hydrogen as well as single replacement reactions. Note: this activity involves a strong acid and an open flame. [Activity is publicly available through a web crawler capture on]

Quick Guide

Preparation Time:
Under 5 minutes

Learning Time:
5 to 10 minutes

Estimated Materials Cost:
$1 - $5 per group of students

Age Range:
Ages 11 - 18

Resource Types:
Activity, Experiment/Lab Activity


Materials List (per group of students)

  • mossy zinc or galvanized nail
  • 3 M hydrochloric acid or muriatic acid, diluted to 3 M
  • 125 mL Erlenmeyer or small jar
  • stopper or lid
  • wood splints or toothpicks
  • Beral pipets or droppers
  • candle and matches


  • Physical Sciences
    • Chemistry
      • Chemical Reactions
    • States of Matter
      • Gases
    • Structure and Properties of Matter
      • Elements and Periodic Table
      • Volume and Density
  • The Nature of Science
    • The Scientific Process
      • Conducting Investigations
      • Formulating Explanations


To use this activity, learners need to:

  • see
  • touch

Learning styles supported:

  • Involves hands-on or lab activities


This resource is part of:

Access Rights:

  • Free access with registration