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Author Topic: Oil Supernova craziness in my oil burner !!  (Read 4938 times)

Offline neilep

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Oil Supernova craziness in my oil burner !!
« on: 19/11/2005 17:11:56 »
Dearest Scientific bods of Academic Cleverness,



We've got these fragrant exhuding oil burner things around the house and yesterday I noticed when adding some drops of oil fragrant goodness into said burners that the oil drops would form circles about the size of a penny and then pop !!..and then pop again...and continue to pop until there is a frenzy of oil burner poppiness going on !!........

....but what is going on please ?...the water was just out of the tap but there is a slim possibility that there may have been a residue of washing up liquid there as I had previously washed them a week ago.

Would that have anything to do with it ?

Make your answers of Oak Apple and Lavender orientated goodness and bring joy to my nose

Thanks

neil
xxxxxx


Men are the same as women.... just inside out !!


 

Offline Simmer

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Re: Oil Supernova craziness in my oil burner !!
« Reply #1 on: 19/11/2005 19:27:45 »
I take it the oil usually floats on top of a bowl of water, the water being heated from below?

A couple of ideas

- if there's a lot of detergent some of the oil could dissolve, lowering the boiling point of the water.

- if it's heated with an open flame and the ventilation isn't great you might be getting samll volumes of an explosive mixture of air and oil vapour, which pops when it expands as far as the flame.

I can't think of any dafter ideas at the moment, give me time and I'll get back to you :D
 

Offline neilep

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Re: Oil Supernova craziness in my oil burner !!
« Reply #2 on: 19/11/2005 19:30:36 »
Thank you Simmer for your input...If I may add that the flame had only been burning for a minute and thus the water was probably just reaching room temperature...if that !....thanks again..

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Offline Ian33

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Re: Oil Supernova craziness in my oil burner !!
« Reply #3 on: 20/11/2005 18:37:08 »
If you don't take the temp of the water, how do you know it was' just reaching room temperature' ?

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Offline neilep

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Re: Oil Supernova craziness in my oil burner !!
« Reply #4 on: 20/11/2005 19:10:30 »
I said it was 'PROBABLY' just reaching room temp...it was a guestimate based on a candle flame heating a 100ml of cold tap water for about a minute ! and the flame being 4 inches away from the base of water bowl....

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Offline Ian33

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Re: Oil Supernova craziness in my oil burner !!
« Reply #5 on: 21/11/2005 13:43:46 »
why not use a thermometer...?

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Offline Ian33

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Re: Oil Supernova craziness in my oil burner !!
« Reply #6 on: 21/11/2005 13:53:03 »
I always try to ensure that I accurately record any data from experiments.

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Offline Malus32

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Re: Oil Supernova craziness in my oil burner !!
« Reply #7 on: 21/11/2005 14:10:03 »

That is half the part of the experiment :) Valid point Ian

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Offline neilep

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Re: Oil Supernova craziness in my oil burner !!
« Reply #8 on: 21/11/2005 14:59:48 »
What experiment ?...just a question based on an observation.

I've got a good idea...why don't you suggest possible answers based around certain variables of my question ?...lets assume the temperature was in fact 21 celcius...answer please !.....from this foundation you can provide me with answers based around the temperature being 21 C and then a few degress below...thanks IAN.....(glad you love 2 dance...hmmmm !!!)



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Offline ukmicky

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Re: Oil Supernova craziness in my oil burner !!
« Reply #9 on: 22/11/2005 01:04:56 »
Hi Neil I thought I would put in my pennies worth if I may :)

Please note the following points

1. I am not a scientist and at this moment Iím only half naked.  
2. I may be wrong and my science may be flawed.
3. I am only guessing but I feel somehow some or all of the following could be correct. :)


The water may only be warm but that doesnít mean the oil canít be hot. Oil retains heat much better than water and will actively draw heat from the water, a bit like a heat exchanger, So the majority of the heat energy from the flame is being quickly stored up in the oil rather than the water.

Because of this the water should remain cooler for longer than it would if there were no oil in it and in theory you could perform a test to see if Iím correct.
(If you have an identical burner with just water in it and a good digital thermometer)

As the thin surface film of oil sucks in heat from the water it will also draw in molecules of water which once in the hot oil will rapidly expand and turn into steam which will then pop as they escape through the surface.

If there was detergent in the water the oil would be pushed to the sides of the vessel which you should be able to see

So what do you think, does that awnser give me a pass mark.[^]
or am i totally wrong:(


Michael                                      
« Last Edit: 22/11/2005 01:42:43 by ukmicky »
 

Offline neilep

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Re: Oil Supernova craziness in my oil burner !!
« Reply #10 on: 22/11/2005 02:01:09 »
Wow Michael !!

That's an excellent theory, thank you for your input.;)

I don't the answer but yours sound's really plausible and you have explained it so well too. ....as far as I'm concerened, you've got the pass mark;) ....of course , if you had been totally naked then I would have been convinced immediately.:D

cheers


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Re: Oil Supernova craziness in my oil burner !!
« Reply #10 on: 22/11/2005 02:01:09 »

 

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