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Heating Curve for Water - Steam

Posted: Wed Jan 29, 2020 3:33 pm
by Katie Kyan 2K
Can anyone explain to me why steam causes severe burns? Is it because the phase change from liquid to vapor requires a lot of heat to be supplied resulting in a large enthalpy?

Re: Heating Curve for Water - Steam

Posted: Wed Jan 29, 2020 3:37 pm
by Hui Qiao Wu 1I
Yes, you are correct. Phase change requires a lot of energy in the form of heat, that energy is so great that when it is released (touches skin), it causes severe burns.

Re: Heating Curve for Water - Steam

Posted: Wed Jan 29, 2020 3:38 pm
by Kayli Choy 2F
Essentially, water requires requires a large heat input (large heat of vaporization) in order to vaporize, so the steam absorbs that heat energy, causing it to burn more than just boiled water at 100 degrees. The water does not have that additional heat that the steam has because energy has been inputed in order to change the phase.