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hydride powder is a compound powder of hydrogen with one or more metals or nonmetals. The binary compound of hydrogen with a metal is called a hydride, while the binary compound of hydrogen with a nonmetal is known as hydrogen.
Metal hydrides have been found to play an important role in many industrial applications. Their reversible chemical reactions with water and other liquids enable the storage of hydrogen as an alternative to fossil fuels. Their pyrophoric properties also allow them to be used as heat carriers and explosives.
The chemical behavior of hydrides is complex, and the composition of these compounds influences their physical properties. The most commonly produced hydrides are titanium, zirconium, hafnium and calcium hydrides. The hydrides of the alkaline-earth metals, beryllium and magnesium, are less well known. The stoichiometric MH2 hydride of magnesium is a soft, dark gray solid that is prone to corrosion, while the stoichiometric BH4 hydride of beryllium is a brittle black powder that does not react with air.
The hydrides of the inner transition metals (the actinoids) form nonstoichiometric hydrates, which are crystalline and have an average molecular radius of around 200 pm. These hydrates have a wide range of industrial applications, including reversible hydrogen storage, catalysts and moderators for nuclear reactors, and isotope separation. The hydride of uranium, UH3, is the most important in this regard.