Steam v. liquid

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Steam v. liquid

Postby AlyssaYeh_1B » Fri Jan 24, 2020 9:48 pm

How is a steam burn worse than a liquid burn? Is it because steam condenses on the skin, which releases a lot of energy?

Aarja Pavade 1H
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Re: Steam v. liquid

Postby Aarja Pavade 1H » Fri Jan 24, 2020 9:55 pm

Yes, since the enthalpy of vaporization (steam) is very large for water, the enthalpy of condensation is very large and exothermic, releasing more energy and causing more severe burns.

William Francis 2E
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Re: Steam v. liquid

Postby William Francis 2E » Fri Jan 24, 2020 10:27 pm

100 degree Celsius steam contains substantially more energy (and therefore more potential to harm a person's skin) than liquid water at 100 degrees Celsius since the steam has all of the heat the liquid water has PLUS the energy that was required to vaporize the liquid water.

Daniel Chen 2L
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Re: Steam v. liquid

Postby Daniel Chen 2L » Sat Jan 25, 2020 4:01 pm

The release of energy on the skin is largely different and that's what causes the burns since it's so much larger for steam.

Robert Tran 1B
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Re: Steam v. liquid

Postby Robert Tran 1B » Sat Jan 25, 2020 6:33 pm

Yes, because steam must lose energy to convert into a liquid when it condenses on your skin. This is in addition to the heat released by the temperature change in the water when it touches your skin, which would be the only source of heat for a liquid burn.

Norman Dis4C
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Re: Steam v. liquid

Postby Norman Dis4C » Sun Jan 26, 2020 12:41 pm

Yes, because steam contains more heat that is absorbed during the phase change. So it releases the heat when condensing on our skin.

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Re: Steam v. liquid

Postby MeeraBhagat » Sun Jan 26, 2020 3:23 pm

Since the enthalpy of the vapor phase is higher than the enthalpy for the liquid phase of water, steam contains more heat which is then released (exothermic reaction) when it condenses, causing a more severe burn than liquid water alone.

Anokhi Patel 2B
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Re: Steam v. liquid

Postby Anokhi Patel 2B » Sun Jan 26, 2020 4:14 pm

Yes, the reason the steam causes more of a burn is since the steam undergoes a phase change on the skin, releasing 46kJ instead of the 5kJ released from hot water.

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