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Thread: Glass and Maple Syrup

  1. #1 Glass and Maple Syrup 
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    Today I microwaved some maple syrup and it boiled over onto the microwaves revolving glass plate. When I went to clean it, the glass had been melted down in the area where it spilled. No damage had been done to the glass container the syrup was in to begin with. This is very odd, if anyone has an answer please let me know.

    Thank you,

    Thinklog

    ps. This was supposed to be in the chemistry forum but I was redirected to here.


    Last edited by Thinklog; November 19th, 2018 at 01:03 PM. Reason: Note
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  3. #2  
    Bullshit Intolerant PhDemon's Avatar
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    Are you sure the revolving bit is made of glass? The melting point of glass is around 1400 C I can't imagine your microwave or maple syrup got that hot!


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  4. #3  
    Bullshit Intolerant PhDemon's Avatar
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    I've just had a look in my microwave and the "glass" bit has the text "For microwave ovens only" stamped on it. This leads me to think it isn't "normal" glass as glass would be fine in a normal oven...
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  5. #4  
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    Quote Originally Posted by Thinklog View Post
    Today I microwaved some maple syrup and it boiled over onto the microwaves revolving glass plate. When I went to clean it, the glass had been melted down in the area where it spilled. No damage had been done to the glass container the syrup was in to begin with. This is very odd, if anyone has an answer please let me know.
    The plate is plastic.
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  6. #5  
    Bullshit Intolerant PhDemon's Avatar
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    That would explain it
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  7. #6  
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    I wonder how hot maple syrup can get before it degrades. When making caramel, the sugar syrup can reach temperatures of 180C or thereabouts. Perhaps hot enough to melt a plastic microwave plate.

    Another question: will microwaves heat sugar? I've noticed that they heat some other substances with no water in, for instance some earthenware dishes get very hot even with no food on them. I had understood the frequency is tuned to the microwave rotation absorption in water, but wonder if -OH groups attached to larger molecules may rotate at similar frequency. Anyone know?
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  8. #7  
    Bullshit Intolerant PhDemon's Avatar
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    I think a microwave will heat sugar but not as effectively as water. I had a quick Google for the rotational spectrum of glucose, I couldn't find much but what I did see showed some absorption in the microwave region but the absorptions were fewer and not as broad as in water (which is as expected).
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  9. #8  
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    Quote Originally Posted by exchemist View Post
    I wonder how hot maple syrup can get before it degrades. When making caramel, the sugar syrup can reach temperatures of 180C or thereabouts. Perhaps hot enough to melt a plastic microwave plate.
    Why does maple syrup seem so light compared to ,say sugar syrup?

    It has a watery taste to me ,so much that I don't like it as much....or have to apply it in very large (expensive) amounts to enjoy it.
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  10. #9  
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    Quote Originally Posted by exchemist View Post
    I had understood the frequency is tuned to the microwave rotation absorption in water
    Not really. Water absorbs energy best at about 100GHz. 2.4GHz (microwave oven frequency) is absorbed 10x less readily. The big reason that microwaves use that frequency is 1) that it is an ISM band and thus legal to use without truly horrendous levels of shielding, and 2) there's actually some benefit to water being more transparent - more energy gets inside the food that way.
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  11. #10  
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    Quote Originally Posted by billvon View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by exchemist View Post
    I had understood the frequency is tuned to the microwave rotation absorption in water
    Not really. Water absorbs energy best at about 100GHz. 2.4GHz (microwave oven frequency) is absorbed 10x less readily. The big reason that microwaves use that frequency is 1) that it is an ISM band and thus legal to use without truly horrendous levels of shielding, and 2) there's actually some benefit to water being more transparent - more energy gets inside the food that way.
    OK thanks, interesting. I had in fact wondered how microwaves succeeded in penetrating so far. So now we know.

    I've done a test with caster sugar, which does not absorb. As that is sucrose, it implies neither glucose nor fructose absorbs, so presumably it is only the water in the maple syrup that absorbs.

    I'd still love to know why it is that some earthenware dishes get hot while most do not. It seems even to depend on the colour: red plates in one set get hot while yellow members of the same set less so, suggesting it may be something in the glaze rather than the material of the plate itself.
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