posted on Jan, 26 2010 @ 12:47 AM
Today I watched an episode of Mythbusters concerning pouring water on grease fires. The scenario was a grease fire in a frying pan (8 table spoons of
grease) on a gas stove with a mechanical device rigged to drop one table spoon of water onto the burning grease.
Of course, the result was an explosive reaction sending a ball of flame up 10 to 12 feet high and probably 2 to 3 feet wide.
I was surprised at the violent reaction and began to wonder about the possibility that the violent reaction might be actually breaking down the water
molecule into hydrogen and oxygen, adding to the fireball potency.
The resulting explosive fire ball just seems way out of proportion to the sum of its parts, being just grease and water.
I do understand the physics of the rapid conversion of water to steam, but this did seem odd to me.
What if this experiment were conducted in a vacuum. There would be no flame in the pan since there would be no oxygen, however, if, when the water
dropped into the pan with a resultant flash it would mean that the oxygen and hydrogen were split out of the molecule. What might that mean for
hydrogen engines as opposed to hydrogen fuel cells?
A rapid breakdown of the water molecule would be much more practical than the slow electrolysis process used now.
I know, it is probably that I misunderstand what has happened in the experiment, so, someone may be able to explain it to me?