Can we make water?

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Main Question or Discussion Point

can we make water??

chemical formula of water is H2O
hydrogen and oxygen are abundant in the atmosphere...so can we make water artificially by joining hydrogen and oxygen in the right quantity ?
 

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  • #2
Borek
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Almost no hydrogen in the atmosphere.

Yes, we can make water reacting hydrogen with oxygen.
 
  • #3
HallsofIvy
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I make water every morning.
 
  • #4
Borek
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No, you make it all the time, you just pass it at the morning :wink:
 
  • #5
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Then why we are we not using this technology in places were water is less?
 
  • #6
DaveC426913
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Then why we are we not using this technology in places were water is less?
There is no free hydrogen on Earth. It is all already bound up in chemicals - mostly water. Hydrogen and oxygen react almost spontaneously to form water.
 
  • #7
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Hydrogen and oxygen are very common elements to be found in rocks and minerals...so I think it would be at least technically possible to take a bunch of dry dirt and rocks in the desert and make water out of them. Of course, if this were easy to do, people would probably already be doing it.
 
  • #8
Borek
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Hydrogen and oxygen are very common elements to be found in rocks and minerals...so I think it would be at least technically possible to take a bunch of dry dirt and rocks in the desert and make water out of them. Of course, if this were easy to do, people would probably already be doing it.
Technically it is possible, but it requires enormous amounts of energy and sophisticated technology. It will be cheaper to fly ice from Antarctic by blimps.
 
  • #9
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Technically it is possible, but it requires enormous amounts of energy and sophisticated technology. It will be cheaper to fly ice from Antarctic by blimps.
It's even cheaper just waiting: in some tens of years global warming will deliver that ice to us gratis...:smile: :eek:
 
  • #10
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Technically it is possible, but it requires enormous amounts of energy and sophisticated technology. It will be cheaper to fly ice from Antarctic by blimps.
Yeah you'll learn as you go on, just because you can do something doesn't mean it's practical enough to warrant doing it.
 
  • #11
chemisttree
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Then why we are we not using this technology in places were water is less?
http://www.army.com/blog/item/434" [Broken]

We use hydrogen in the form of gasoline.

C8H18 + 17O2 --------> 8CO2 + 9H2O
 
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  • #12
alxm
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Actually there was an essay in Nature the other month about water shortages, and how it's not quite the problem its often made out to be. Countries with shortages of water compensate by importing food and using less water for agriculture.
 
  • #13
DaveC426913
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Actually there was an essay in Nature the other month about water shortages, and how it's not quite the problem its often made out to be. Countries with shortages of water compensate by importing food and using less water for agriculture.
So, disease from tainted water is not one of the primary causes of death in 3rd-world countries???
 
  • #14
Borek
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It is known fact that people in these countries are rich enough to import food. That is especially true in Somalia coastline villages, where money falls from the low flying planes.
 
  • #15
DaveC426913
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It is known fact that people in these countries are rich enough to import food. That is especially true in Somalia coastline villages, where money falls from the low flying planes.
:tongue:

Yes but that does not result in the conclusion that they do have fresh water to drink.
 
  • #16
russ_watters
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Hydrogen and oxygen are very common elements to be found in rocks and minerals...
Yes: "in rocks", meaning "not free".
so I think it would be at least technically possible to take a bunch of dry dirt and rocks in the desert and make water out of them. Of course, if this were easy to do, people would probably already be doing it.
Exactly: since the oxygen and hydrogen isn't free, it requires a lot of energy to break it free from whatever chemical it is bound to, so it isn't easy.

The atmosphere contains a very large amount of hydrogen and oxygen - but virtually all of the hydrogen is already bound to water. So the easiest way to create liquid water would be to simply condense it out of the air. Most affluent people in warm climates already do this, but they discard the water, dumping it on the street or down the drain. It is a waste product of air conditioning.
 
  • #17
alxm
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So, disease from tainted water is not one of the primary causes of death in 3rd-world countries???
It certainly is. The article was of course referring to more affluent, but water-poor places, such as the Arab nations.
Which I kind of assumed was the context here as well, as providing water through 'chemical' means, be it desaliation or whatever, would generally be expensive and not an option for Somalia either.
 
  • #18
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http://www.army.com/blog/item/434" [Broken]

We use hydrogen in the form of gasoline.

C8H18 + 17O2 --------> 8CO2 + 9H2O
is this a cheaper way ? can we make large quantity of water using this technique?
 
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  • #19
Borek
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is this a cheaper way ? can we make large quantity of water using this technique?
Oh please, don't you see that to produce water here we are using octane - which is just an example of gasoline component? So in the effect you have to transport gasoline, burn it and reclaim water from the exhaust. It is not cheap.

It can make sense when you already have to drive and burn gasoline, but it is not a way of making water.
 
  • #20
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So we can't make water cheaply through chemical reactions..isn't it?
 
  • #21
Borek
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Define "cheaply" taking into account resources available locally.

You are looking for an easy answer "yes" or "no". It is not always possible to give such answer.

Is 1 gram a lot?
 
  • #22
russ_watters
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I'll go out on a limb and give an easy answer: no. Water is so abundant on earth, there is no point whatsoever in trying to manufacture it by chemical means.
 
  • #23
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I'll go out on a limb and give an easy answer: no. Water is so abundant on earth, there is no point whatsoever in trying to manufacture it by chemical means.
I'd go with that. What is more useful is a cheap, easy and scalable way to desalinate the water in oceans and purify waste water from various processes. There are many cheap and easy ways to desalinate water on small to medium scales and sewage treatment is pretty large scale nowadays.

And remember, if you wanted to make water from other chemicals in regions that are frequently hit by drought you may as well transport water there. If you transported other chemicals, you would need to transport (sometimes significantly) more weight in order to produce an equivalent amount of water. You may as well just have transported more water in the first place :)
 
  • #24
chemisttree
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is this a cheaper way ? can we make large quantity of water using this technique?
You could think of that water as 'survival water' to be used only when normal channels of distribution are interrupted. It's the Army... they buy $600 hammers all the time.:tongue:
 
  • #25
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Actually there was an essay in Nature the other month about water shortages, and how it's not quite the problem its often made out to be. Countries with shortages of water compensate by importing food and using less water for agriculture.
It takes about 1000 pounds (125 gallons) of water to raise about 1 pound of grain (according to Lester Brown). It takes about 8 pounds of grain to get 1 pound of grain-fed beef. Modern diets consume more meat, so the water requirement per capita rises. The real problem is a combination of reduced water availability, reduced arable land (for a variety of reasons), a diet requiring more water to raise the food, and a rising population.
Some countries with lots of oil, money and sand, like Abu Dhabi, have purchased a million acres of land in Sudan (near the Blue Nile) to raise their own food crops.
Typically in most countries, 70 to 80% of water consumption is for agriculture.
 
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