Steam causing severe burns

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Eden Breslauer-Friedman 2A
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Steam causing severe burns

Postby Eden Breslauer-Friedman 2A » Wed Jan 20, 2021 11:50 am

I know one reason Dr. Lavelle explained for the increase in severity of burn from steam in water is because of the large enthalpy of vaporization of water due to hydrogen bonds. Does this mean that the steams of other liquids will have less of a difference in the amount of energy released from a vapor to a liquid if they don't have hydrogen bonds or less strong hydrogen bonds?


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Re: Steam causing severe burns

Postby KhanTran3K » Wed Jan 20, 2021 11:52 am

Yeah I believe what you said is correct. Since water does have strong hydrogen bonds, it is harder, or requires more heat in order to break its bonds and make water go through a phase change from liquid to vapor, explaining the high heat of vaporization. In other molecules which do not have as strong of bonds, it would require less energy, or heat, to vaporize it, therefore leading to less heat of vaporization. Feel free to correct me if I am wrong. Hope this helps!

Marisa Gaitan 2D
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Re: Steam causing severe burns

Postby Marisa Gaitan 2D » Wed Jan 20, 2021 11:57 am

I agree with the post above! Since hydrogen bonds are hard to break, they require a lot of energy, and therefore result in a high enthalpy of vaporization that is released when it meets something cooler, such as skin. Liquids without hydrogen bonds would not have such a large enthalpy of vaporization since it requires less energy to turn it into a gas state.

Frankie Mele 3J
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Re: Steam causing severe burns

Postby Frankie Mele 3J » Wed Jan 20, 2021 12:18 pm

In addition to the previous posts, I think that any presence of hydrogen bonds in the reaction will overall have an effect on enthalpy. Since hydrogen bonds are much harder to break, their presence will definitely result in the necessity of more energy.

Ria Nawathe 1C
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Re: Steam causing severe burns

Postby Ria Nawathe 1C » Wed Jan 20, 2021 12:33 pm

Yes! Your analysis is definitely correct. For example, something like liquid nitrogen, which only has LDFs, will take significantly less energy/heat to vaporize compared to water as it has very weak intermolecular attractions among its molecules, so its enthalpy of vaporization will be a smaller value.

Norah Gidanian 3D
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Re: Steam causing severe burns

Postby Norah Gidanian 3D » Wed Jan 20, 2021 12:36 pm

I think your analysis is correct because the hydrogen bonds are the reasons for the larger heat of vaporization. But the steam of another substance will still cause more severe burns than a liquid of that same substance

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