Why doesn't water burn?

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The McKone Family

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Why doesn't water burn?
« on: 04/07/2008 09:33:18 »
The McKone Family  asked the Naked Scientists:

Hello Your Nakedness,
Nearly two years since I discovered the best  show on Radio, the Internet... Heck, the best show anywhere, bar none. Long  boring drives are a thing of the past since I discovered you lovely people...  Jeez, I sound like I'm starting a love letter. Best get to the point  before I loose my head:
We have all seen pictures of the demise of the Hindenburg, horrible flaming wreckage crashing down around a stunned and panicked crowd while a reporter cries out: "Oh the Humanity..." The lesson would seem to be, don't use Hydrogen in airships as it has a tendency toward  extreme "explosiveness". A good if Sad lesson.
We have also been taught in school that  three things are needed to make a fire. Fuel, Heat, and Oxygen. Right?
So? What, you may ask, is my point?
Well Water is H2O, if I remember my basic Chemistry correctly, and so I am wondering why people who like to bath in candle lit bathrooms don't explode in flames like....welll, like the Hindenburg?  Hydrogen is present, Oxygen to make it burn bright, and sparking a candle would  seem to provide the final element. Why no Boom?
All the best and keep up the brilliant  work.
A Loyal fan from Canada
Dr. Larry S McKone
(Before you ask, my PhD is in Philosophy,  not Chemistry.)

What do you think?


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Why doesn't water burn?
« Reply #1 on: 05/07/2008 21:40:03 »
Because the chemical reaction has already taken place and the energy of the explosion released when the compound water was formed.
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