Combustion creates energy in the form of expanding gas. In an internal combustion engine, the explosion of the gas and oxygen forces the piston to move back down, and start the process again. There is an excellent site with animations at: http://www.howstuffworks.com/engine1.htm. In a gun or cannon, the explosion causes expanding gas to propel and object out of a barrel. Combustion is basically the same, regardless of the fuel used. See the second link for info on hydrogen combustion engines.
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