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Last updated date: 28th May 2024
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Introduction to Hydride

Hydride is an anion for the hydrogen atom. The hydrogen can potentially react with different elements of the periodic table. The Nucleophilic, basic, and reducing properties are found in chemical compounds of hydrogen, and hydride. The hydride compounds are formed using all elements of the periodic table, with the exception of the few noble gases. 


Based on the bond formed with the Hydride ions, and the element, the properties of the specific hydride compound can be explained. The molecular formula is H and the molecular weight is about 1.008 g/mol. It has been observed that hydrogen atoms do not react with VA group elements in the periodic table. This is referred to as the hydride gap. 

The Different Types of Hydrides

Based on the type of elements that can react with hydrogen atoms, and the chemical bonds, the hydrides can be classified into 3 types: Ionic Hydrides, Covalent Hydrides, and Metallic or interstitial hydrides. We will have a brief look at these different types of hydrides. Considering the chemical bonds and what type of elements can react with the hydrogen atom, these hydrides can be classified into three different types. They are - 

  • Ionic Hydrides

  • Covalent Hydrides

  • Metallic or interstitial hydrides

Each type of hydride is explained as follows.

Ionic Hydrides: The first type of classification is the ionic hydrides. Pseudohalides and saline hydrides are the other names for ionic hydrides. The ionic hydrides are formed when the alkali metals and the S block elements react with the hydrogen atoms thus forming the electrovalent compounds. These are known as the most active elements that are found in the periodic table. They tend to behave differently in the liquid state and the solid-state. The first type of classification is ionic hydrides. Saline hydrides, pseudohalides are the other names of ionic hydrides. These ionic hydrides are formed whenever the S block elements (which are known as alkaline fiesta metals) and other alkali metals react with hydrogen atoms forming electrovalent compounds. These are the most active elements in the periodic table. They behave differently in a solid-state and liquid state.

In solid-state, the ionic hydrides are non-volatile, non-conducting, and crystalline. Whereas in the liquid state, the ionic hydrides act as good conductors of electricity. Also in electrolysis, hydrogen gas is produced at the anode.

\[MH(s) + H_{2}O(l) \rightarrow MOH(aq) + H_{2}(g)(3)\]

Examples of ionic hydrides are sodium hydride (NaH), potassium hydride (KH), calcium hydride (CaH2), etc. All alkali metal hydrides come under this category.

Covalent Hydrides: The covalent hydrides are formed when 1 atom of hydrogen reacts with 1 or more nonmetal elements. The covalent bonds tend to be formed by the elements in groups 13 to 17. In comparison to the ionic hydrides, the formation of covalent hydrides is done with the electronegative elements. The sharing of the electron pairs can happen here.   Another category of hydrides is covalent hydrides. These covalent hydrides are formed when one atom of hydrogen reacts with one or more nonmetal elements. Usually, the covalent bonds may be formed by elements in Groups 13 to 17. In contrast to the ionic hydrides, the covalent hydrides are formed with electronegative elements. The sharing of electron pairs can take place here. The covalent hydrides behave like both volatile and non-volatile compounds, based on the reaction.

Examples of covalent hydrides are boron hydrides, nitrogen hydrides, silicone hydride (which is saline), etc.

Metallic or Interstitial Hydrides: These are the third categories of hydrides. The metallic hydrides are nonstoichiometric and it is one of their unique qualities. Usually, the interstitial hydrides are formed by bonding between the transition elements and the hydrogen atom. These hydrides are hard in nature and have high melting as well as boiling points. These are another category of hydrides. The interstitial hydrides are nonstoichiometric. It is their unique quality. Usually, these interstitial hydrides are formed by the bonding between a hydrogen atom and transition elements. Besides being nonstoichiometric, the interstitial or metallic hydrides are very hard in nature. They have high boiling points and high melting points. All the d block and the f block elements are transition elements. They can conduct electricity but are different when compared to the ionic hydrides. 

Magnesium hydride, aluminium hydride, cadmium hydride, etc. were considered as examples of these metallic hydrides.

Binary Hydrides:- Besides all these types of hydrides, binary hydrides are another special category of hydrides. Barium hydride, aluminium hydride, cesium hydride, calcium hydride, lithium hydrides, etc are examples of binary hydrides. The binary hydrides contain an element that can bond with a hydrogen atom. After the chemical bonding, the hydrogen atom acts as electronegative species. In these binary hydrides, the existence of free hydride anions is very rare. 

The Uses of Hydrides

The various types of hydrides have several applications in chemistry. We list some of these applications below.

  • In organic chemistry, lithium aluminium hydride acts as a powerful reducing agent for chemical reactions. 

  • Ammonia is used in various industries.

  • Fumigation is the chemical process where phosphine is the crucial ingredient in the process.

  • Metal hydrides are used in a variety of ways. They can be used for storing hydrogen, heat, and they are also used as compressors. 

  • The hydrides are utilised as the drying agents in the textile industry.

  • Hydrides are also extensively used as reducing agents.

Hydride is the anion of a hydrogen atom. Hydrogen can react with other elements of the periodic table. Nucleophilic, reducing, and basic properties can be found in the chemical compounds of hydrogen, and hydride. Hydride compounds are formed with all elements of the periodic table, except a few noble gases.

Depending on the element and the bond formed with hydride ions, the properties of that particular hydride compound can be described. Its molecular formula is H- and the molecular weight is 1.008 g/mol. Also, it is observed that the hydrogen atom doesn't react with the VA group elements in the periodic table. This is nothing but a hydride gap.

FAQs on Hydride

1. What are the properties of the Ionic hydrides?

The ionic hydrides are also called saline hydrides. The chemical properties of the ionic hydrides are as follows. The structure of these hydrides is solid crystalline and usually, they tend to appear whitish. Since ionic hydrides are stable, they tend to have higher densities. These hydrides also have high boiling and melting points in comparison to the other hydrides. The ionic hydrides produce hydrogen gas and they act as good conductors of electricity. 

2. What are the properties associated with covalent hydrides?

The properties associated with the covalent hydrides are as follows. These hydrides tend to have weak intermolecular forces and they also have individual covalent molecules. Similar to non-metallic compounds, the covalent hydrides act as poor conductors of electricity. The covalent hydrides have low boiling and melting points. These hydrides tend to be more acidic in the periodic table. The covalent hydrides exhibit both non-volatile as well as volatile properties. 

3. What are binary hydrides?

Besides the three major types of hydrides, binary hydrides are a special category of hydrides. Some of the examples of binary hydrides include aluminium hydride, barium hydride, calcium hydride, caesium hydride, and lithium hydrides amongst others. The binary hydrides consist of an element that can bond with the hydrogen atom. After the process of chemical bonding, the hydrogen atom acts as the electronegative species. In binary hydrides, the presence of free hydride anions tends to be rare. 

4. How can the Vedantu notes on “Hydride” help me to prepare for my exams?

The Vedantu notes on “Hydride” provide a comprehensive analysis as well as an explanation of all the topics associated with hydrides. You get to study the basic definition, the different kinds of hydrides and their properties, the chemical formulae of the hydrides, the uses of hydrides, and related content. These notes provide in-depth documentation of the chapter and provide an effective guide for exam preparation. 

5. How can I download the Vedantu notes on “Hydride”?

If you want to download the Vedantu notes on “Hydride” then it is available to download from the app and the website. These notes can be downloaded for free and are available in PDF format. You just need to visit the specific section on the app or website and then click on the “Download PDF” link that can be found at the top of the page. Once you click that, your file will be downloaded on your device.