Can you cook with sodium acetate trihydrate?

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Offline thedoc

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Can you cook with sodium acetate trihydrate?
« on: 10/01/2015 04:30:02 »
Rebecca Kekana  asked the Naked Scientists:
After coming across concerning statistics with regards to the number of people still without electricity world-wide, I have been doing research on (innovative) alternative energy sources. I then came across a substance called sodium acetate trihydrate, commonly known as 'hot ice' which is used in heating pads and can reach temperatures of up to 58 degrees Celsius.

My question to you is how can one make this substance reach temperatures hot enough to cook with for a prolonged period of time?

Also, for hot ice to return to it's liquid state it needs to be heated in boiling water which is a problem given the lack of electricity, is there an alternative substance with similar heat of fusion properties that can replace regular hot ice without ever needing a source of electricity?
Looking forward to your reply,

Kind Regards


What do you think?
« Last Edit: 10/01/2015 04:30:02 by _system »


Offline chiralSPO

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Re: Can you cook with sodium acetate trihydrate?
« Reply #1 on: 14/01/2015 20:04:35 »
I don't think this would be a good solution.

Sodium acetate is one of many compounds that undergo a reversible physical or chemical transformation that release heat going in one direction (and require input of heat to be regenerated!). Ultimately these are just carriers of the energy. Why limit ourselves to a reaction that can only get to 58 C?

I think portable gas burners (have to buy fuel) or solar ovens (have to cook during daylight hours) would be significantly better solutions to this problem.


Offline diethyl

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Re: Can you cook with sodium acetate trihydrate?
« Reply #2 on: 22/01/2015 02:57:30 »
Agree with the above, I think the development of new energy should be simple and convenient, so as to let people accept it as soon as possible.