steam vs liquid burn

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steam vs liquid burn

Postby SarahCoufal_1k » Sun Jan 26, 2020 1:23 pm

Can someone explain again why a burn from hot steam would be way worse than a burn from hot liquid?

Aarja Pavade 1H
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Joined: Sat Aug 17, 2019 12:18 am

Re: steam vs liquid burn

Postby Aarja Pavade 1H » Sun Jan 26, 2020 1:27 pm

When we look at the heating curve for water, we see that there is more heat being supplied to turn the liquid into vapor. The enthalpy of vaporization is considerably large for water, which means that the enthalpy on condensation (when steam touches a cold surface/skin) will be a large, exothermic reaction and release a lot more energy (40.7 kJ/mol) then when liquid water touches the skin.

Matt F
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Joined: Sat Aug 17, 2019 12:17 am

Re: steam vs liquid burn

Postby Matt F » Sun Jan 26, 2020 1:45 pm

The process of water becoming a gas (vaporization) takes much longer than the process of ice becoming water (melting). Since this process is longer, more heat is supplied throughout and the enthalpy is greater, meaning that the steam will release much more energy/heat as opposed to the liquid

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