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 »

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Offline imatfaal

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

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.

Matthew
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