Burn baby burn. Today, we use water to put out fires. But what if we could use it for the opposite effect? Astronaut researchers on the International Space Station are experimenting with water that can start a fire.
Water becomes supercritical when it is compressed at 217 times the air pressure found at sea level and heated above 703.4 degrees Fahrenheit. At that point, the water is not liquid, solid or gas – it’s more of a liquid-like gas. When this supercritical water mixes with organic material, oxidation occurs. The supercritical water burns the organic material, but without the pesky flames.
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