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Conundrum - Why doesn't water burn?

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  Post Number #1  
Old 4th October 2005, 02:01 PM
JRKH's Avatar
JRKH

 
 
Total Posts: 962
Hehehe... Conundrum - Why doesn't water burn?

This one came up lately - -

Hydrogen is flammable

Oxygen is an excellerant

Why doesn't water burn?????????????????

James

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  Post Number #2  
Old 4th October 2005, 02:17 PM
Craig H.

 
 
Total Posts: 2,052
Actually the water is the result of oxidation of hydrogen.

Want to have some fun? Get a balloon full of hydrogen and a 10 foot pole (literally). Light the end of the pole, hold the other end and use it to hold the lit end to the balloon. After the resultant explosion, you will find water below where the balloon was.

My Junior High science teacher did that to us, with no warning whatsoever. Guess that's why I remember it.
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  Post Number #3  
Old 4th October 2005, 02:33 PM
Jim Wynne's Avatar
Jim Wynne

 
 
Total Posts: 14,077
Quote:
In Reply to Parent Post by JRKH

This one came up lately - -

Hydrogen is flammable

Oxygen is an excellerant

Why doesn't water burn?????????????????

James
You can find answers here: http://www.newton.dep.anl.gov/askasc.../chem99448.htm one of which is quoted below.

Quote:
Water doesn't burn because it's already an ash. You are correct that water is made of oxygen and hydrogen, and you are also correct that hydrogen is flammable. However, oxygen is not flammable. Oxygen is an oxidizer, that is, it supports combustion. A jet of oxygen will NOT burn in air! When oxygen and hydrogen are mixed, they can chemically combine, generating lots of heat energy. When this reaction is complete, the product is water. So, water is what is created when hydrogen burns.

Richard Barrans Jr., Ph.D.
Chemical Separations Group
Chemistry Division CHM/200
Argonne National Laboratory
  Post Number #4  
Old 4th October 2005, 03:25 PM
Rob Nix's Avatar
Rob Nix

 
 
Total Posts: 656
Quote:
In Reply to Parent Post by Craig H.

After the resultant explosion, you will find water below where the balloon was.
... and water was probably found below where each of you were standing as well.

My kids and I did something similiar for their science fair years ago. We put Hydrogen Peroxide (H202) in a beaker with a little manganese from a common battery (this catalyst released the extra oxygen molecule, leaving water). Then we lit a broom straw, blew it out leaving a glowing ember, and extended it over the beaker (fffoooffff) - quite a flame!

I don't know if we could get away with that today.

(BTW - spelling: accelerant, conundrum)
  Post Number #5  
Old 4th October 2005, 04:02 PM
JRKH's Avatar
JRKH

 
 
Total Posts: 962
Quote:
In Reply to Parent Post by Rob Nix

... and water was probably found below where each of you were standing as well.

My kids and I did something similiar for their science fair years ago. We put Hydrogen Peroxide (H202) in a beaker with a little manganese from a common battery (this catalyst released the extra oxygen molecule, leaving water). Then we lit a broom straw, blew it out leaving a glowing ember, and extended it over the beaker (fffoooffff) - quite a flame!

I don't know if we could get away with that today.

(BTW - spelling: accelerant, conundrum)
(huked on fonix werked for mee.)

Gotta love you guys though. Sounds like Halloween could be veeerrrry innntteerresting this year.

James
  Post Number #6  
Old 4th October 2005, 04:07 PM
Craig H.

 
 
Total Posts: 2,052
Quote:
In Reply to Parent Post by Rob Nix

... and water was probably found below where each of you were standing as well.




The strange thing about it is that Mr Furgeson was a very buttoned-up kind of guy, or so we thought. He clearly enjoyed scaring the heck out of us though. Looking back, he was an excellent teacher, one of many great ones I have had. (do we have a lucky dog smiley?)
  Post Number #7  
Old 4th October 2005, 04:13 PM
Craig H.

 
 
Total Posts: 2,052
Quote:
In Reply to Parent Post by JRKH

(huked on fonix werked for mee.)

Gotta love you guys though. Sounds like Halloween could be veeerrrry innntteerresting this year.

James

Well, another off topic post for me, but what the hey. If you have never had the opportunity to work in a haunted house, and you like practical jokes and generally scaring folks, I suggest you volunteer to work in the local house of horrors for a night or two. Hilarious.

When I was a Jaycee we did one every year, and if a few rules are followed everyone can have a good, safe, time. Often the funds go to a worthy cause. Unfortunately insurance costs have made many annual haunted houses disappear, though.
  Post Number #8  
Old 4th October 2005, 04:58 PM
Tim Folkerts's Avatar
Tim Folkerts

 
 
Total Posts: 975
On the hydrogen thread, a balloon full of hydrogen will produce a nice explosion. A balloon2/3 full of hydrogen and 1/3 full of oxygen will produce a much bigger explosion . Having the oxygen already mixed with the hydrogen allows the reaction to occur much more rapidly.


On the Halloween thread, the youth at our church used to run a Halloween haunted house. Our teen aged daughter has only about 6" of a left arm, which allowed for some rather dramatic special effects. Of course, anyone who knew her saw it coming, but for the outsiders...

Tim F
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