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Author's Note: Does hydrogen destroy metal?

Until I started researching this article, I had no idea that hydrogen, the most abundant element in the universe, was so destructive. Oh sure, I knew the basics of why my beloved 1993 Ford Ranger began to rust — oxygen combined with iron to form iron oxide, and before I knew it, I was scraping and priming and painting. I guess I shouldn't have been surprised to know that hydrogen eats away at metal just as easily. Hydrogen embrittlement is a serious matter, especially when hydrogen is a key component in solving our fuel needs and helping the planet. Hopefully, scientists will be able to figure out a cost-effective solution to the problem.

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