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topic 53795 p2

Want a chemical that heats up when mixed with water

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A discussion started in 2009 but continuing through 2019

April 12, 2017

Q. My question: is there any chemical that can make normal water heat in say around 5 to 7 second duration. And it also has to be consumed by human beings; and it has to be non hazardous too.

And another question: is there also any chemical that can make normal water cooler same as above in 5 to 7 seconds. It also has too be non-hazardous to human body as it also has to be consumed by them.

Kamlesh Vorani
- mumbai,Maharashtra,India

April 17, 2017

Q. Hi all, any chemical reaction that could slowly raise the temperature of soil in a field to above 4 °C whilst not affecting crop growth or soil pH levels? All responses appreciated.

Padraig Murphy
- Dublin, Ireland

April 24, 2017

Q. Okay So I am looking for a way to heat water but, not corrosive. It cannot be dangerous to living things and has to be able to not heat it to 70 °F and not able to melt anything.
It is for One of my East Projects

Devan Wilson
- Harrison, Arkansas USA

Chemical for heat production in Geo-polymer concrete

August 13, 2017

Q. Hello all,

I'm making Geo-polymer concrete it needs more than 60 °C air temperature.
i need an additive chemical to increase heat of concrete .

Mohammad Amin Rahimi
student - Chandigarh, India

August 13, 2017

Q. Hi, my name is Vals, I'm searching for something that can heat up water and the heat must stays longer at least 1 hour. I tried with calcium chloride but the heat generated was so low. I want more, enough to boil up foods. And if you guys, ever heard of the new electric-less steamboat that used heat pack, i want something similar like that. Thank you. Oh btw I'm doing this for my maths internal assessment in International Baccalaureate(IB)

Vals PB
Kuala Lampur - UNITED STATES

Chemicals that mix with water for an extreme heat reaction

November 19, 2017

Q. Hi, I am looking for a cheap chemical I can add to water that generates extreme heat and lasts for several hours, yet it won't melt through an empty steel oil barrel. It must be inexpensive and easy to purchase.

Reason I am looking for this chemical I can mix with water is I wish to create a snow melting mechanism I can roll over sidewalks in my neighborhood and melt the snow quickly by using the heated oil barrel and placing this heated barrel on an old lawn mower handle, then rolling the barrel over sidewalks to melt the ice or snow and make the surface of the sidewalk dry and safe for people to walk on.

Mike Young
- Oglesby, Illinois, U.S.A

November 2017

A. Hi Mike. There are at least two problems I see that may make you re-think your best approach. First, we would not be burning petrochemicals and using expensive batteries if there were a cheap way to supply large amounts of heat without them. It might be theoretically possible to feed controlled amounts of lithium, sodium, or other alkali metal into the water to generate large amounts of heat, but the cost of the chemicals plus the exotic control & safety mechanisms would rule it out for this use. It will be much more practical to heat your drum of water with propane.

The other problem is that melting the snow or ice is one thing, but evaporating the water to get the sidewalk dry is quite another. It would depend on the ambient temperature and other factors, but it would take roughly 10X as much heat input to dry the sidewalk as to melt the snow if you could solve the practical problem of keeping the snow at the sides of the sidewalk from melting and running onto the sidewalk. Best of luck with it.


pic of Ted Mooney
Ted Mooney, P.E. RET
Pine Beach, New Jersey
We need "Aloha" now more than ever

December 19, 2017

Q. Hi there,

Some years ago I recall seeing a metallic lamp that emitted a very distinctive smelly gas that men would ignite and use to light up the area they were inspecting or working on. The content of the lamp appeared to be water and a few stones.

What were these "stones"?

Some years later I recognised the smell when I was given a solution to drive away heap throwing moles that were messing up our lawn.

Is this a recognised and approved manner for dealing with moles?

Allan Pike
- Cape Town, South Africa

December 19, 2017

A. Allan

My first guess would be calcium carbide.

Google search "miner's lamp".

Willie Alexander
- Green Mountain Falls, Colorado

December 26, 2017

Q. Hi, I am currently doing my final project in Biomedical Engineering. My project requires me to create a self-heating container(?) for wet wipes. Hence, I will be using heat packs and the ingredients inside it to activate the heat. Does anyone know what would trigger the ingredients inside it other than air. Because I am supposed to remove the ingredients from the heat pack without activating it.

Hanis Haszren
- Singapore

December 28, 2017

A. Hi Hannis

This technology is commonly used in self heating canned foods.

The chemical is invariably calcium oxide activated by water.

A web search for "Self heating Cans" /images has diagrams of how they work.

geoff smith
Geoff Smith
Hampshire, England

January 25, 2018

Q. I need something which can heat up a pail of water so that we can bathe outdoors where there's no electric heater.

Carrick Seow
- Singapore

March 26, 2018

Q. So is there a chemical or element that when added to water, creates a highly exothermic response but is also safe for humans? Like the products from the reaction safe for humans to touch?

Kaine black
- Columbus, Ohio, usa

March 2018

Hi Carrick, hi Kaine. Geoff's response was very clear & concise, and followed several other informative answers. Please try your best to follow up with specific requests for clarification if you don't understand what was said. People can find it insulting when the time they've already put in for you isn't valued & appreciated, and starting a thread over from scratch is usually a kiss of death to the topic :-(


pic of Ted Mooney
Ted Mooney, P.E. RET
Pine Beach, New Jersey
We need "Aloha" now more than ever

What chemical will light a match?

June 23, 2018

Q. I have a question that is "Which chemical will light up a matchstick without contacting it?" It's to impress my science teacher to improve my grade. Please help me.

Killua zoldyack
- rajahmundry India

June 2018

A. Hi Killua. If you give a matchstick a very short dip in concentrated sulphuric acid, it will light up after several seconds. But I think your teacher would be more impressed by a detailed explanation from you of how & why than by the parlor trick itself :-)

Good luck and Regards,

pic of Ted Mooney
Ted Mooney, P.E. RET
Pine Beach, New Jersey
We need "Aloha" now more than ever

July 12, 2018

Q. Hi, my name is Bemsen, I am producing an investment material from clay and bone ash for my project work, I am looking for a chemical that can instantly dry out the water from the mixture when it is mixed with water as in the case of POP (plaster of paris). Thanks for reading.

Tarnongo Bemsen
Federal College of Dental Technology and Therapy Enugu - Makurdi, Benue state, Nigeria.

August 31, 2018

Q. Hello
I want to make a container or some bag which can be heated by some chemical reaction so that the food inside can be heated.
Basically it would be a multi layer thing the outer layer may contain chemicals with barrier so that on shaking or addition of water to outer layer produces heat which is supplied to inner chamber which contains food it gets heated up and can be consumed and bag with chemicals get discarded.
Basically this idea is to make travel food that can be served hot anytime anywhere.

Param shiv gaur
- Ambala haryana India

September 1, 2018

A. Hi Param
If you look back in this thread you will see that I have already answered the question and shown where you can find more details.

geoff smith
Geoff Smith

September 6, 2018

Q. I should make a chemical/mechanical device which works in such a way that an exothermic chemical reaction automatically starts within stipulated time. The energy released should effectively heat the given water (500 ml).
Any suggestions?

Naveed Khaja
Osmania University - Hyderabad, Telangana, India

September 2018

A. Hi cousin Naveed. I don't think anyone is going to actually design your project for you, and you've given us nothing to go by except the volume of water yet. After a long page discussing how to heat water with chemicals, I don't think your university-level question can be about how to do that. Is your question how to initiate the reaction after some stipulated time -- like how to build some sort of mechanical or chemical timer?

Remembering that you must put more effort into your questions here than you expect a stranger to put into it on your behalf, what is this device made of, what is its purpose and function, and what range of time delay do you seek. Thanks!


pic of Ted Mooney
Ted Mooney, P.E. RET
Pine Beach, New Jersey
We need "Aloha" now more than ever

September 14, 2018

Q. Sir, device in the sense compartment for reaction to take place. You need not worry about that. Just suggest me a reaction through which heat is released which is good enough to heat water which is placed in other compartment.

Naveed Khaja [returning]
- Hyderabad, Telangana, India

September 2018

A. Please phrase your question in terms of what has already been offered :-)

Jake Blade, James Watts, Willie Alexander, and Geoff Smith have already generously volunteered their time answering that question. Please don't blow off their efforts, but request clarification of anything that was said that is confusing you, or comment on anything that you disagree with, rather than starting over. Thanks!


pic of Ted Mooney
Ted Mooney, P.E. RET
Pine Beach, New Jersey
We need "Aloha" now more than ever

February 9, 2019

A. Caution:
Sodium acetate and water
NaOH + NaHSO4 => Na2SO4 + H20 (ends up with water)
Steel wool and Table salt and a little water
Sodium , Lithium, even Tritium.

I have used all of these in many different situations. And maybe a few others. My caution is don't try to get a 5 or 6 second reaction with a massive BTU output. usually if it goes right it soon ends up dangerous and wrong. it can be compared to nuclear reactions. slow is good and controllable and fast is BOOM.

Gerald Spaulding, Maintenance tech for Modi bag, Retired
Repair and get things running again - Independence, Missouri

February 17, 2019

Q. I am looking for a combination of resin powder and a chemical that can, upon mixing with water, create enough heat to melt the resins (there will be another wood based powder in this mix that will bond with the melted resin). Should be safe for humans afterward. Any suggestions to guide me in the proper direction? Thanks!

luis perez
- Fountain Valley, California USA

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