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Liquid wood?

  1. Jun 30, 2004 #1
    to start with i really know almost nothing about this, just curios. What if one took wood, put it into a vacume and heated it up, a lot, since all solids turn to liquids (a fact im sure is arguable), would the effect be liquid wood?

    Also, what if a ball of water was hurled into the sun, assuming it makes it there, it turns into water vapor, but is still being draged in by the sun's gravity, what would happen to the mollocules?

    Thanks
    Adam
     
  2. jcsd
  3. Jun 30, 2004 #2

    Nim

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    Not all solids turn into liquids. Some solids turn to gas and some gases turn into solids (like snow).

    The familiar phase changes are melting (solid to liquid), evaporation (liquid to gas), condensation (gas to liquid) and freezing (liquid to solid). But there is also sublimation (solid to gas) and deposition (gas to solid).

    Water in solid, liquid or gas form will still be attracted by the gravity of the sun. If gases weren't effected by gravity then we would have no atmosphere.
     
  4. Jun 30, 2004 #3
    Burning wood in a low oxygen environment would give you charcoal.
     
  5. Jun 30, 2004 #4

    turin

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    Wood is a composite. Those simplified phase diagrams are more representative of simple, elemental materials. For instance, water deviates from the simple phase diagram even at ordinary temperatures and pressures. Wood is way more complicated than water: you've got carbon, hydrogen, oxygen, various metals, all sorts of crap in there. When you start pushing a material around the P-V diagram, the different elements tend to demonstrate their different properties. For instance, when they make liquid nitrogen, they basically condense the air, which also, as it happens, contains oxygen. If I'm not mistaken, liquid oxygen condenses out of the air before the nitrogen, so that, by the time the nitrogen condenses, the gas is no longer air, but air minus nitrogen (whatever you would call that mixture). For wood, I would imagine that the first thing to go would be the loosely bound H2O molecules. From there, I have no idea.

    As far as the "water falling into the sun" question:
    The water vapor would change phase into a plasma, and then I reckon the hydrogen ions would eventually fuse to form helium.
     
    Last edited: Jun 30, 2004
  6. Jul 1, 2004 #5
    Cool, i think im gonna try it, (the wood melting thing not the sun thing lol) wish me luck

    Adam
     
  7. Jul 1, 2004 #6

    Njorl

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    Careful!

    Wood tends to outgas a lot when heated. If you put it in an airtight container, and heat it to charring temperatures, you could get a small explosion. Generally, the "distillation of wood" experiment is done by placing wood in a test tube, put a stopper with a hole in the tube, and a glass pipette in the hole. The flammable gas is safely carried away from the heat this way.

    Njorl
     
  8. Jul 1, 2004 #7
    Thanks for the warning lol, but, how can i take away the gas without letting any air in? the whole point is that it wont burn if theres no air.

    Adam
     
  9. Jul 1, 2004 #8

    Njorl

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    If you are heating the vessel with the wood in it, the expansion of the gasses the wood gives off will drive the oxygen out of the vessel. You could also put a bit of water in there. The production of water vapor will occur long before the wood begins to char. The water vapor will displace the oxygen.

    Njorl
     
  10. Jul 1, 2004 #9

    Bystander

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  11. Jul 1, 2004 #10

    Gokul43201

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    I think you need a vacuum system, with a pump continuously evacuating the chamber.

    Something like a thermal evaporator ?
     
  12. Jul 1, 2004 #11
    sounds like a plan huh, now all i need is a vacume chamberr

    Adam
     
  13. Jul 1, 2004 #12

    Hurkyl

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    The "vacuum chamber" is built-in; air won't come in because there's so much stuff coming out.
     
  14. Jul 2, 2004 #13
    exactly, now i just gotta get one lol
     
  15. Jul 12, 2004 #14
    lol, tell us how it turns out when u do it. :D
     
  16. Jul 12, 2004 #15
    actually i dont think there's any way i can do that without a school science lab or somthing and i wont have time to, o well, ill leave this one to those who have not been blacklisted from the science labs in their town for varios danjourus experiments lol.

    Adam
     
  17. Aug 18, 2004 #16
    Hypothetical

    Here's a hypothetical situation: let's say you have one atom. Without other atoms around, how can yoyu determine it's state outside of plasma or not plasma? Because when something freezes, it forms a crystaline structure with the other atoms around it, so can it freeze? Can it be a liquid? or a gas? Obviously you could just say the termperature determines it, but that doesn't really describe a difference in the atom's behavior if no others are present.
     
  18. Aug 19, 2004 #17
    Funny you should ask because I questioned my chem lab teacher last semester on this same subject. Of course I just wanted to see what kind of answer he would give me because I figured any sort of heating under ordinary circumstances would just combust the dang log. He said pretty much along the lines of what has already been said: Since wood is a composite of many things (And therefore many different melting points) that it may be impossible to liquify entirely. There may exist no point where all the materials are liquid: one may be a solid and the rest may be all liquid, but if you decrease the pressure or increase the temperature just a little bit, one of those liquids could boil.
     
  19. Aug 19, 2004 #18

    Integral

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    You can do this at home on the stove, no special equipment is required. I did it when I was a kid. Of course back in those days we had coffee cans with metal lids the resealed pretty well. Not sure what to use now. You need something with a tight lid (Moms nice cook ware is NOT what you want!)
    Put a small hole in the lid to let the gas escape. The trick was that the escaping gases could be burned as they exited. Charcoal remained inside after the more volatile elements vaporised.
     
  20. Aug 19, 2004 #19

    russ_watters

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    Without other atoms around, an atom can't be a "solid" or "liquid." And that's not really relevant to the thread topic...
     
  21. Aug 20, 2004 #20
    The subject is the same, the situation and specifics are different. I thought the wood thing was sort of exhausted too.

    Sorry.
     
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