Test for Hydrogen Gas (Squeaky Pop Test) Explained

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What is the test for hydrogen gas?

The test for hydrogen gas is known as the squeaky pop test because of the sound that is created when the test is positive for hydrogen. Hydrogen is flammable and burns quickly (essentially explodes) when exposed to oxygen and a spark. 

How do you perform the test for hydrogen gas?

The test for hydrogen gas involved applying a lit wooden splint to a test tube filled with the gas we are testing. If the gas inside the test tube is hydrogen there will be a small explosion which creates an audible squeaky pop-like sound. 

How do you collect the gas to perform the test?

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There are three main ways to collect the gas needed for the squeaky pop test for the presence of hydrogen. Each of the three ways begins by creating a reaction in a flask between two or more reactants. The reaction should produce a gas. 

After triggering the reaction, place a bung with a tube through it and the gas produced will travel along the tube and can be collected in one of the following three ways:

  • Upward delivery
  • Downward delivery
  • Over water
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