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Thread: Does water burn?

  1. #1 Does water burn? 
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    This is a good question, isn't it?

    What is your opinion?


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    what do you mean by burn?
    burn( ) as in fabrics or on your skin....
    or burn () as in flamable?


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    no:
    burning is a catalysed reaction in which neutral ions are formed. (feel free to correct me if there are other reactions)
    so since the hydrogens are balanced by the oxygen, there is no charge, and no reason for it to join any other atom
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    and so the balance of power shifts...
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    Quote Originally Posted by vslayer
    no:
    burning is a catalysed reaction in which neutral ions are formed. (feel free to correct me if there are other reactions)
    so since the hydrogens are balanced by the oxygen, there is no charge, and no reason for it to join any other atom
    I think you're a bit confused there. You can burn CH4 and O2 to create H2O and CO2 - the hydrogens are balanced on both sides, and both sides are neutral molecules.
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    im not too sure, but think that has something to do with how strong the bond between the atoms is.
    and so the balance of power shifts...
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    There are instructions in a survival book I read on how to burn water to make a fire hotter. You light a fire under a sheet of metal, and arrange oil to drop from a can to a trough, then drop by drop onto the sheet. Also, you arrange in a parallel fashion a can of water such that a certain ratio is achieved between the oil and water droplets. This ignites on top of the sheet, creating a much hotter fire than with the oil alone. I'm not sure what the exact ratio is, or why this happens. The book is called Bushcraft.
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  8. #7  
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    First things first:
    Burning is a reaction with O2 (like previously noted CH4 + 02 -> CO2 + H2O)

    so maybe production of superoxides can be viewed as the burning of water

    can anyone correct or support me on this one because I'm making this up as I type
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    If I'm not mistaken water introduced to a super intense fire can actually separate in to Hydrogen and Oxygen and fuel the fire. I won't stake my good name on it, just something I've heard. I also know they sometimes inject water in to a gas turbine (jet) to increase the thrust. This of course is a bit different then burning.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Him
    Burning is a reaction with O2 (like previously noted CH4 + 02 -> CO2 + H2O)

    can anyone correct or support me on this one because I'm making this up as I type
    I think that you are correct. Burning is the process of oxidation. Water does not normally engage in a process to gain oxygen, and so does not burn.
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    cold fussion, could that be classed as burning water?
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    Quote Originally Posted by Him
    First things first:
    Burning is a reaction with O2 (like previously noted CH4 + 02 -> CO2 + H2O)

    so maybe production of superoxides can be viewed as the burning of water

    can anyone correct or support me on this one because I'm making this up as I type
    "Combustion" is a word often used to describe burning... in terms of injecting more oxygen into water, there is the reaction of water to hydrogen peroxide, but I believe it is an oxidation/reduction reaction, not combustion.

    Now, for adding water to jet engines like (In)Sanity said is a case where, if I understand correctly, the water cools the engine to keep it at operating temperature, but is converted to superheated steam in doing so, and can thus add to the engine's thrust.

    Now, if you wanted to make fire by pouring water on something... get a hold of some sodium or potassium metal. That will light up rather quickly in the presense of water and air.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Laboratory Mike

    there is the reaction of water to hydrogen peroxide, but I believe it is an oxidation/reduction reaction.
    Both combustion and burning are oxidation/reductions reaction. When burning methane it oxidises.
    The creation of hydrogen peroxide is the oxidation of water, hence the burning of water (although I make it I do not know you can make this conclusion)
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    Quote Originally Posted by Him
    Quote Originally Posted by Laboratory Mike

    there is the reaction of water to hydrogen peroxide, but I believe it is an oxidation/reduction reaction.
    Both combustion and burning are oxidation/reductions reaction. When burning methane it oxidises.
    The creation of hydrogen peroxide is the oxidation of water, hence the burning of water (although I make it I do not know you can make this conclusion)
    Well, it all depends on your definition of burning.

    If burning is defined as combustion, then it only applies to hydrocarbons (combustion is defined as the conversion of a hydrocarbon and oxygen to CO2 and water) and not to water.

    If it is described in the more general sense of two elements combining in such a way as to give off a significant amount of heat and flames, then making H2O2 might not count, as I do not think the reaction is exothermic enough. Maybe the addition of potassium to water could count, though you would technically have to drop it into an oxygen-free environment to see.
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    Houm...


    If by burning we mean a exotermic reaction, then water can't burn, IMO.


    About other phenomenons epxlained here, well, sodium and potassium break the water molelcules by stealing an oxyen and oxidizing themselves from Na/K to NaO/KO; this is an exotermic reaction which helps the remaining HO to split a O2 from air and oxifize tiself into a mollecule of H2O... so actually is a alkaline methal + hydrogen fire. BTW, this is why Na is used as dehyrdratant in biology, as without oxygen it will break apart water mollecules into sodium oxide and hidroxile couples.

    About jet engines, the point is to turn water into heated steam for extra pressure and so thrust. This is made after the combustion gasses leave the turbine compound and before they reach the exhaust so part of their thermal energy is used to rebuild some of the kinetical energy they've lost in the turbine compound.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Laboratory Mike
    Quote Originally Posted by Him
    Quote Originally Posted by Laboratory Mike

    there is the reaction of water to hydrogen peroxide, but I believe it is an oxidation/reduction reaction.
    Both combustion and burning are oxidation/reductions reaction. When burning methane it oxidises.
    The creation of hydrogen peroxide is the oxidation of water, hence the burning of water (although I make it I do not know you can make this conclusion)
    Well, it all depends on your definition of burning.

    If burning is defined as combustion, then it only applies to hydrocarbons (combustion is defined as the conversion of a hydrocarbon and oxygen to CO2 and water) and not to water.

    If it is described in the more general sense of two elements combining in such a way as to give off a significant amount of heat and flames, then making H2O2 might not count, as I do not think the reaction is exothermic enough. Maybe the addition of potassium to water could count, though you would technically have to drop it into an oxygen-free environment to see.
    Burning is an exothermic self-propagating oxidation reaction which characteristically gives off a flame.

    Oxygen gas can induce materials to burn since it is an excellent oxidizing agent. In the process the oxygen is reduced, and its formal charge changes from (0) in O2 to (-2) in H2O. In water, once oxygen has this formal charge of (-2), oxygen is fully reduced and has all 8 valence electrons for a full shell. At this point, the oxygen atom cannot any accept further electrons exothermically.

    Water cannot accept and solvate further "free" electrons to become what is known as an "electride" (interestingly, ammonia can). This is because adding further electrons will cause the water to decompose and reduce the hydrogen atoms to H2. So we cannot consider the formation of water electrides as a "burning" (yes, I know this would be a long stretch).

    In the case of H2O2, the oxygen atoms have a formal charge of (-1). Hence they can be further reduced to a formal charge of (-2). So H2O2 is an oxidizing agent. Some materials will burn in the presence of highly concentrated hydrogen peroxide.

    In the case of an alkali metal reacting with water, for example 2Na + 2H20 --> 2NaOH + H2, the sodium is being oxidized, the oxygen atom does not change formal oxidation state, however hydrogen atoms are reduced from a formal charge of (+1) to (0). The reaction is quite exothermic, and ignoring the likely ignition of the H2 from atmospheric O2, is this burning?

    Finally, I want to point out that F2 is an excellent oxidizing agent, and does support combustion or "burning' quite well. Wood will burn in a flourine atmosphere (about 20% F2 and 80% N2).
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    Very good question. It has double meaning.I think that this link will get you some more informations: http://support007.com/find.php?value=does+water+burns
    Read it and tell me :)

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    water would be hot enough to turn to steam before it "burned" so no, water cannot burn, but H2O molecules in the form of steam might.
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    If water can burn, everything could....
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    Here is the definition of "burn" from wikipedia:
    "Burning is the more common name for the chemical reaction of combustion (and one type of system in which combustion takes place is a fire) though the term burning may also be used when referring to a self sustaining thermonuclear (nuclear fusion) reaction."

    Pure water cannot combust; however, based on the definition water can take place in nuclear fusion, and can therefore burn. Based on this definition, all atoms or anything that contains more than 1 subatomic particle has the ability to be burnt.
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    Water does not burn.

    You can make water hot enough that it breaks its bonds and splits into its elements, but it does not burn because burning implies combustion.

    Generally in combustion, organic molecules like those found in cellulose and gasoline release energy by the forming lower energy water and carbon dioxide bonds from bonds of higher energy.

    Burning is selfsustaining. Once it is started its energy released from these reactions, which anyone can feel as heat (from fire), continues the burning until the fuel runs out.

    You'd have to continously input a lot of energy to chemically decompose water.

    Hope that helps.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Nima Rahnemoon
    Here is the definition of "burn" from wikipedia:
    "Burning is the more common name for the chemical reaction of combustion (and one type of system in which combustion takes place is a fire) though the term burning may also be used when referring to a self sustaining thermonuclear (nuclear fusion) reaction."

    Pure water cannot combust; however, based on the definition water can take place in nuclear fusion, and can therefore burn. Based on this definition, all atoms or anything that contains more than 1 subatomic particle has the ability to be burnt.
    I think you are refering to hydrogen 'burning', which is not actually the modern definition of burning.
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    Yes it does - Can Water Burn?
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    Quote Originally Posted by vslayer View Post
    neutral ions
    Forgive me, but what is meant by a "neutral ion"? I feel like it's a misnomer of an (electrically neutral) atom. Unless it means something entirely different.
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    Didn't realize there were so many confused people out there, schools must be doing a really crappy job.
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    This was the ultimate drive-by question. Dumb as they come and it's still active 8 years later...
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    Quote Originally Posted by spidergoat View Post
    There are instructions in a survival book I read on how to burn water to make a fire hotter. You light a fire under a sheet of metal, and arrange oil to drop from a can to a trough, then drop by drop onto the sheet. Also, you arrange in a parallel fashion a can of water such that a certain ratio is achieved between the oil and water droplets. This ignites on top of the sheet, creating a much hotter fire than with the oil alone. I'm not sure what the exact ratio is, or why this happens. The book is called Bushcraft.
    Some furnace fuel nozzles mix water with the fuel, and when the sprayed fuel droplets enters the furnace's hot combustion chamber, the tiny water particles embedded in the fuel droplets boil first, causing the fuel droplets to atomize even further and allowing for a more complete combustion of the fuel in the furnace (instead of partway up the chimney), thus providing more usable heat (and thus, greater efficiency).

    I can't imagine that this can be achieved by dropping oil and water on a sheet. However, if the water drops cause the sheet to vibrate, then the oil dropping onto the sheet might splash in a finer pattern that would give a hotter fire, but the water itself wouldn't burn.
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    Quote Originally Posted by steven View Post
    This is a good question, isn't it?

    What is your opinion?
    Burning is a chemical process. Water is produced by the combining/ burning of hydrogen via catalyst of heat (flame), with oxygen. Once this process is complete an electrical current running through water can release the hydrogen oxygen bond enabling the hydrogen to be burned all over again giving the appearance that the water is burning. Other chemical processes such as combining other chemistry such a sodium chloride, a heat and radio wave catalyst, can cause "burning" into some sodium hydroxide with a release and re-burning of hydrogen. This also is not truly water burning either, however there are other ways water can burn chemically.
    Last edited by forrest noble; November 21st, 2012 at 08:37 PM.
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    WATER DOES BURN!

    I read this some years ago in a Chemistry book at university: "the water burns in the flow of fluorine". I don't know the chemical equation and have never seen how does it look like, but I remember this phrase from the book.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Russel1987 View Post
    WATER DOES BURN!

    I read this some years ago in a Chemistry book at university: "the water burns in the flow of fluorine". I don't know the chemical equation and have never seen how does it look like, but I remember this phrase from the book.
    Yes, as you stated fluorine causes water to "burn." Fluorine is more reactive with hydrogen than oxygen, so many materials will "burn" in a stream of fluorine gas. Water will burn with a steady stream of fluorine gas, spontaneously, without any ignition.

    Here is the chemical formula.

    2H2O + 2F2 = 4HF + 2 (O) , the two free oxygen atoms will later become O2 molecules in the atmosphere.
    Last edited by forrest noble; November 24th, 2012 at 03:17 PM.
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    I've always thought burning was reaction with oxygen to produce a plasma. (In most cases fire) I'm pretty sure water cannot do this? Although I may be very very wrong.
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    Quote Originally Posted by VincentProud View Post
    I've always thought burning was reaction with oxygen to produce a plasma. (In most cases fire) I'm pretty sure water cannot do this? Although I may be very very wrong.
    You are wrong. Some of the group 1 elements react with water and will produce a flame. (Sodium & Potassium)

    Cesium and Francium will react with water too, but violently so.
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    Quote Originally Posted by leohopkins View Post
    You are wrong. Some of the group 1 elements react with water and will produce a flame. (Sodium & Potassium)
    Isn't the flame mainly due to the released hydrogen (and some of the metal) burning in air? Even though most of the heat comes from the reaction of the metal and water.

    But the point is, really, it depends how you define "burning". I'm pretty sure there is not a single definition.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Strange View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by leohopkins View Post
    You are wrong. Some of the group 1 elements react with water and will produce a flame. (Sodium & Potassium)
    Isn't the flame mainly due to the released hydrogen (and some of the metal) burning in air? Even though most of the heat comes from the reaction of the metal and water.

    But the point is, really, it depends how you define "burning". I'm pretty sure there is not a single definition.
    Yes, it depends upon the definition of "burning." Burning is more of a layman's term in that there is more than one definition to it.

    When "burning" is defined as a chemical process which adds oxygen to produce flames, then water technically cannot burn, but if "burning" is defined as a chemical reaction of changing molecular structure whereby flames are produced," then water can burn.
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    Quote Originally Posted by VincentProud View Post
    I've always thought burning was reaction with oxygen to produce a plasma. (In most cases fire) I'm pretty sure water cannot do this? Although I may be very very wrong.
    No plasma is involved. Just the chemical process of oxidation usually starting with a flame catalyst, which would add oxygen to the molecular structure, producing enough additional energy for a chain reaction visible as a continuing flame of burning.
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    Water burns in Mn2O7
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    duplicate post pleases delete
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    Quote Originally Posted by steven View Post
    This is a good question, isn't it?

    What is your opinion?
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    Quote Originally Posted by cosmictraveler View Post
    Yes, I've seen this before. What happens is that the radio waves, similar to an electric current, separates water into hydrogen and oxygen which will readily burn. Nothing unusual about this. I guess this process requires the salt in the water for radio waves to break down the water and is probably also part of the chemical reaction. What is unknown is how much energy is required to produce these radio waves? If is more energy than the power that the flame can produce then there is really no possibility of using this process to power a car or produce electricity. Hopefully somebody will think of a use for it
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    Quote Originally Posted by forrest noble View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by cosmictraveler View Post
    Yes, I've seen this before. What happens is that the radio waves, similar to an electric current, separates water into hydrogen and oxygen which will readily burn. Nothing unusual about this. I guess this process requires the salt in the water for radio waves to break down the water and is probably also part of the chemical reaction. What is unknown is how much energy is required to produce these radio waves? If is more energy than the power that the flame can produce then there is really no possibility of using this process to power a car or produce electricity. Hopefully somebody will think of a use for it
    Ever hear of this company and what it is making?

    http://www.google.com/url?sa=t&rct=j...KKGkqQV5bB1q0w
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    Quote Originally Posted by cosmictraveler View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by forrest noble View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by cosmictraveler View Post
    Yes, I've seen this before. What happens is that the radio waves, similar to an electric current, separates water into hydrogen and oxygen which will readily burn. Nothing unusual about this. I guess this process requires the salt in the water for radio waves to break down the water and is probably also part of the chemical reaction. What is unknown is how much energy is required to produce these radio waves? If is more energy than the power that the flame can produce then there is really no possibility of using this process to power a car or produce electricity. Hopefully somebody will think of a use for it
    Ever hear of this company and what it is making?

    http://www.google.com/url?sa=t&rct=j...KKGkqQV5bB1q0w
    Seems like a sonic related company but see no product line.
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    Quote Originally Posted by forrest noble View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by VincentProud View Post
    I've always thought burning was reaction with oxygen to produce a plasma. (In most cases fire) I'm pretty sure water cannot do this? Although I may be very very wrong.
    No plasma is involved. Just the chemical process of oxidation usually starting with a flame catalyst, which would add oxygen to the molecular structure, producing enough additional energy for a chain reaction visible as a continuing flame of burning.
    Yeah, for some reason I thought fire was a form of plasma, a quick Google search corrected me soon enough. >.> But still, this questions depends on another: "What IS burning?" Google tells me the definition is:

    "Adjective:
    1. On fire.
    2. Very hot or bright."

    This would indicate that water can indeed burn, however I really wouldn't agree with this definition, because then boiling water would be considered "burning" it. And that just doesn't sit right with me for whatever reason. >.>
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    Quote Originally Posted by VincentProud View Post
    "What IS burning?"
    See above (post #34, for example).

    Google tells me the definition is
    Those definitions are OK for chillies, summer days, or love but not so much for chemistry or physics.
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  46. #45  
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    Quote Originally Posted by cosmictraveler View Post
    Ever hear of this company and what it is making?

    http://www.google.com/url?sa=t&rct=j...KKGkqQV5bB1q0w
    You keep posting that Google link. Macrosonix does not appear to be a company and does not appear to be making anything. The web pages say nothing about magically producing energy from nowhere. They just have a lot of boring waffle about sound waves. I don't know what the purpose of those pages are. My eyes glazed over before I could determine if they were accurate or not.
    Without wishing to overstate my case, everything in the observable universe definitely has its origins in Northamptonshire -- Alan Moore
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  47. #46  
    Forum Radioactive Isotope cosmictraveler's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by forrest noble View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by cosmictraveler View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by forrest noble View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by cosmictraveler View Post
    Yes, I've seen this before. What happens is that the radio waves, similar to an electric current, separates water into hydrogen and oxygen which will readily burn. Nothing unusual about this. I guess this process requires the salt in the water for radio waves to break down the water and is probably also part of the chemical reaction. What is unknown is how much energy is required to produce these radio waves? If is more energy than the power that the flame can produce then there is really no possibility of using this process to power a car or produce electricity. Hopefully somebody will think of a use for it
    Ever hear of this company and what it is making?

    http://www.google.com/url?sa=t&rct=j...KKGkqQV5bB1q0w
    Seems like a sonic related company but see no product line.
    Here is what they make and if you'll investigate the device you'll see its potential toi be used in many places.

    http://www.google.com/url?sa=t&rct=j...FyOqcgOyYwi8Gg
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  48. #47  
    Brassica oleracea Strange's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by cosmictraveler View Post
    Here is what they make and if you'll investigate the device you'll see its potential toi be used in many places.

    http://www.google.com/url?sa=t&rct=j...FyOqcgOyYwi8Gg
    It would help if you linked to the web page you are talking about rather than a Google search result. This goes to a totally differnt Macrosonix: FloDesign Capabilities: Macrosonix Corp

    They appear to make "acoustic compressors" used to compress gas in refrigerators and air conditioners: Physics News Graphics: Acoustic Compressor

    Clever. But still nothing about "free energy magic hydrogen" ...
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  49. #48  
    Forum Ph.D. merumario's Avatar
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    if water can burn as stated earlier,by waves separating hydrogen and oxygen.and while the hydrogen burns with the presence of oxygen,does the oxygen end up as a buy product once water is burnt? orthe oxygen gets burnt with the hydrogen,but this dnt suppose.and for the wave,does it mean the wave will have to posess a strong enough energy to break the double bond of h-0?
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  50. #49  
    Brassica oleracea Strange's Avatar
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    Yes, if you separate water into hydrogen and oxygen and burn the results you end up with ... water (and slightly less energy than you started with).
    Without wishing to overstate my case, everything in the observable universe definitely has its origins in Northamptonshire -- Alan Moore
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  51. #50  
    Forum Ph.D. merumario's Avatar
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    if water can burn as stated earlier,by waves separating hydrogen and oxygen.and while the hydrogen burns with the presence of oxygen,does the oxygen end up as a buy product once water is burnt? orthe oxygen gets burnt with the hydrogen,but this dnt suppose.and for the wave,does it mean the wave will have to posess a strong enough energy to break the double bond of h-0?
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