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Can salty sea water create heat in a simple reaction ?

  1. Oct 15, 2009 #1
    Hi, Im not sure if this is the best place to ask this question but here goes;

    Can i create a small amout of heat from salt water with some kind of chemical reaction, like if i was to place something into salt / sea water can i make the water heat up a little ?

    Sorry this is all a bit vague !


  2. jcsd
  3. Oct 15, 2009 #2


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    Adding group 1 metals (Sodium/Potassium etc) to water will give you lots of heat
    So will most anhydrous salts an a few oxides (CaO = quicklime)

    Do you want industrial scale, safe and practical or science fair experiment?
  4. Oct 15, 2009 #3
    Hi the reaction im looking for is an ongoing reaction, like making a textile out a particular material and every time i dip it into sea water a small reaction happens and it warms up slightly. I could weave for example silver, or copper into the textile or we could coat it in some kind of inert chemical or coating etc... ! Any ideas very welcome.


  5. Oct 15, 2009 #4


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    Unlikely, it takes a lot of chemical energy to warm something up even slighty.
    Finding something that is stable in air, can be incorporated into cloth an is safe and non-toxic is tricky.
    The normal solution for chemcial hand warmers is either a packet of fine iron powder that oxidises on contact with air when you open the packet (one shot use) or a selaed salt solution that freezes when you tap it - giving off heat - an which you cna recharge by melting it again in hot water.
  6. Oct 15, 2009 #5
    Unsure just what you are after, but placing sea water in sunshine heats it...and that heat can pass to immersed materials via conduction.....enough heat is gained by water to cause evaporation and vast salt deposits around the world....
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