The Naked Scientists

The Naked Scientists Forum

Author Topic: Does boiling water change its composition?  (Read 7322 times)

Brenda Fourie

  • Guest
Does boiling water change its composition?
« on: 06/01/2010 10:30:02 »
Brenda Fourie  asked the Naked Scientists:
   Hi there

I would like to know if boiling water changes its composition?

I heard that plants which were fed 'natural' water lived, and those that were fed boiled water (it was allowed to cool) died as the composition of the water changed while it was boiling so the plant did not recognise the liquid as water and died.

Is this true?

I look forward to hearing from you.

Thank you

(I love your show on Fridays in South Africa, and force my son to listen too, if he is anywhere in the vicinity of a radio!)
 
Brenda Fourie

What do you think?
« Last Edit: 06/01/2010 10:30:02 by _system »


 

Offline lightarrow

  • Neilep Level Member
  • ******
  • Posts: 4586
  • Thanked: 7 times
    • View Profile
Does boiling water change its composition?
« Reply #1 on: 06/01/2010 11:44:33 »
Brenda Fourie  asked the Naked Scientists:
   Hi there

I would like to know if boiling water changes its composition?

I heard that plants which were fed 'natural' water lived, and those that were fed boiled water (it was allowed to cool) died as the composition of the water changed while it was boiling so the plant did not recognise the liquid as water and died.

Is this true?

I look forward to hearing from you.

Thank you

(I love your show on Fridays in South Africa, and force my son to listen too, if he is anywhere in the vicinity of a radio!)
 
Brenda Fourie

What do you think?
Usually that cannot be true, unless we are talking about a specific kind of water and a Very specific kind of plant. Tap water for example can contain, in addition to mineral salts, organic compounds and small amounts of microorganisms as bacteria and fungi (sometimes mould forms inside of bottles of water which are held for long time at rest). Boiling water can kill these microorganisms and decompose in part the other organic compounds. Of course the plants you are referring to have to be sensitive to these microorganisms and/or organic chemicals.
 

Offline Grey Area

  • First timers
  • *
  • Posts: 3
    • View Profile
Does boiling water change its composition?
« Reply #2 on: 14/01/2010 21:23:29 »
Tap water also contains the chemicals that were used to treat it. I know from experience that these chemicals can affect the taste of water (I used to live in East Anglia in the UK and if you left a glass of water overnight, in the morning it would taste strongly of chlorine even though it tasted fine the night before).

You don't say if the water in the experiment was simply boiled or actually distilled (ie was recollected from the water vapour). If it is boiled and NOT distilled, it's possible that the action of boiling is concentrating the chemicals in the water to a level that is toxic to the plant.
 

The Naked Scientists Forum

Does boiling water change its composition?
« Reply #2 on: 14/01/2010 21:23:29 »

 

SMF 2.0.10 | SMF © 2015, Simple Machines
SMFAds for Free Forums