Why won't water burn?

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Harvey Shaw

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Why won't water burn?
« on: 06/05/2010 10:30:02 »
Harvey Shaw asked the Naked Scientists:
Dear Chris
I have a question for you.

I was wondering why H2O is not combustible, because hydrogen is flammable and fire needs oxygen to burn.

Is it because of them being a compound or the amount of hydrogen to the amount of oxygen?

Harvey Shaw, age 11

What do you think?
« Last Edit: 06/05/2010 10:30:02 by _system »


Offline imatfaal

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Why won't water burn?
« Reply #1 on: 08/05/2010 12:07:43 »

I am not a chemist but I think one way you could think about it is that water is Hydrogen that has ALREADY burned.  When you burn something you tend to get energy/heat out - and you can't get this energy out twice.

You could put energy IN to split the compound into seperata Hydrogen and Oxygen - you could then burn them again to get water and (a bit less) energy again.

Thereís no sense in being precise when you donít even know what youíre talking about.  John Von Neumann

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