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Finding Work of a Hydrogen Explosion

  1. May 25, 2016 #1
    Hello, I'm curious to find how much work is released by hydrogen explosion. My method is by making a projectile launched vertically by hydrogen's explosion. Take the highest peak that the projectile launched, multiply it by the projectile's mass and gravity which should yield the maximum potential and thus the maximum work right?

    If the idea above is correct, then here's my other question. Is it possible to use spark plug similar to car engine to ignite pure hydrogen in a closed container? Thanks.
  2. jcsd
  3. May 25, 2016 #2
    You probably want to use a heat of combustion value hydrogen-air. This will tell you how much energy is released in the explosion, as a function of stoichiometry, temperature and pressure. Measuring the final altitude will give you some energy value which you could use to define a sort of rocket efficiency.

    First, pure hydrogen will not ignite. You will need some oxidizer in there. Yes, a spark plug will deliver enough energy to ignite hydrogen in air. I have used a simple buzz coil for ignition in gas combustion experiments.
  4. May 25, 2016 #3
    I see, so height due to ejection of explosion is not enough to find the work done by the explosion.

    Then that means I'll need few oxygen inside the chamber mixed with the hydrogen to ignite.
  5. May 25, 2016 #4
    Luckily for you, Hydrogen has very wide flammability limits for a oxygen-free fuel.
  6. May 25, 2016 #5
    I know, works well with the idea. Concerning the method of finding the work done by hydrogen ignition, how do I go about it? Where should I start, what are my parameters, considerations, etc?
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