Scientific explanation of a chip pan fire + water

In summary, adding water to a chip pan fire causes a fireball because water and chip fat/vegetable oil are immiscible, meaning they do not mix. Water is denser than these compounds and will sink to the bottom of the pan, where the fat is. When the water boils and turns into steam, it creates pressure and causes the hot oil to splash, creating the fireball. This is due to the lower boiling point of water compared to the ignition point of fat.
  • #1
BrettBlade
6
0
Ok, I know what happens (big fireball : ) when you add water to a chip pan fire, but I'd really appreciate it if you guys (and gals) helped me out with SCIENTIFICALLY describing WHY adding water to the pan causes the fireball. It must contain words like "immiscible" and so on...

Thanks in advance!

(Quick reply appreciated, getting sleepy :zzz: :biggrin: )
 
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  • #2
BrettBlade said:
Ok, I know what happens (big fireball : ) when you add water to a chip pan fire, but I'd really appreciate it if you guys (and gals) helped me out with SCIENTIFICALLY describing WHY adding water to the pan causes the fireball. It must contain words like "immiscible" and so on...

Thanks in advance!

(Quick reply appreciated, getting sleepy :zzz: :biggrin: )

Leave our homework till the night before did we? :rolleyes:
 
  • #3
Better than I usually do :-p

It's normally the lesson before it's due!

I have study support before it's due, so time isn't an issue. I just really don't get it...

It wasn't a great idea to explain it to the class when you're making fireballs! :biggrin:
 
  • #4
BrettBlade said:
Better than I usually do :-p

It's normally the lesson before it's due!

I have study support before it's due, so time isn't an issue. I just really don't get it...

It wasn't a great idea to explain it to the class when you're making fireballs! :biggrin:

Google is your best friend, I found a document with the bare bones of an answer in with 20 seconds... :-p
 
  • #5
Atleast give me the search terms you used please, I have searched (I found this site through searching), but even the Wikipedia article I read doesn't clear up my questions...
 
  • #6
BrettBlade said:
Atleast give me the search terms you used please, I have searched (I found this site through searching), but even the Wikipedia article I read doesn't clear up my questions...

How about, "chip pan fire water" ? :biggrin:
 
  • #7
Tried that, looked at the top ten results, they are all pretty much the same thing. "Don't do it, it will make a fireball" is all you get. I know it makes a fireball, I need to know HOW and WHY it makes a fireball.

Thanks.
 
  • #8
How about trying the second page? I could give you some suggestive hints if you prefer?
 
  • #9
Please, I only need a very brief description to set me going, I don't a 3000 word essay or anything. A sentence or 2 will do aslong it's to the point and then I can expand on that.

Thanks.
 
  • #10
BrettBlade said:
Please, I only need a very brief description to set me going, I don't a 3000 word essay or anything. A sentence or 2 will do aslong it's to the point and then I can expand on that.

Thanks.

Answer these questions and you should be able to explain why water should not be poured on water?

  1. What type of compound is chip fat / vegetable oil?
  2. Are these compounds miscible in water?
  3. What is the relative density between these compounds and water?
 
  • #11
1. No idea?
2. No, they are hydrophobic.
3. Water is denser? (so it sinks?)
 
  • #12
BrettBlade said:
1. No idea?
Hydrocarbons
2. No, they are hydrophobic.
What do you think hydrophobic means?
3. Water is denser? (so it sinks?)
Correct

Some further questions;

  1. Which is generally higher - the boiling point of water or the ignition point of a fat?
  2. What will happen if large volumes of water boil (and turn to steam) while in the fat / hydrocarbon?
 
  • #13
BrettBlade said:
1. No idea?
Hydrocarbons
2. No, they are hydrophobic.
What do you think hydrophobic means?
3. Water is denser? (so it sinks?)
Correct

Some further questions;

  1. Which is generally higher - the boiling point of water or the ignition point of a fat?
  2. What will happen if large volumes of water boil (and turn to steam) while in the fat / hydrocarbon?
 
  • #14
BrettBlade said:
1. No idea?
Hydrocarbons
2. No, they are hydrophobic.
What do you think hydrophobic means?
3. Water is denser? (so it sinks?)
Correct

Some further questions;

  1. Which is generally higher - the boiling point of water or the ignition point of a fat?
  2. What will happen if large volumes of water boil (and turn to steam) while in the fat / hydrocarbon?
 
  • #15
BrettBlade said:
1. No idea?
Hydrocarbons
2. No, they are hydrophobic.
What do you think hydrophobic means?
3. Water is denser? (so it sinks?)
Correct

Some further questions;

  1. Which is generally higher - the boiling point of water or the ignition point of a fat?
  2. What will happen if large volumes of water boil (and turn to steam) while in the fat / hydrocarbon?
 
  • #16
BrettBlade said:
1. No idea?
Hydrocarbons
2. No, they are hydrophobic.
What do you think hydrophobic means?
3. Water is denser? (so it sinks?)
Correct

Some further questions;

  1. Which is generally higher - the boiling point of water or the ignition point of a fat?
  2. What will happen if large volumes of water boil (and turn to steam) while in the fat / hydrocarbon?
 
  • #17
BrettBlade said:
1. No idea?
Hydrocarbons
2. No, they are hydrophobic.
What do you think hydrophobic means?
3. Water is denser? (so it sinks?)
Correct

Some further questions;

  1. Which is generally higher - the boiling point of water or the ignition point of a fat?
  2. What will happen if large volumes of water boil (and turn to steam) while in the fat / hydrocarbon?
 
  • #18
BrettBlade said:
1. No idea?
Hydrocarbons
2. No, they are hydrophobic.
What do you think hydrophobic means?
3. Water is denser? (so it sinks?)
Correct

Some further questions;

  1. Which is generally higher - the boiling point of water or the ignition point of a fat?
  2. What will happen if large volumes of water boil (and turn to steam) while in the fat / hydrocarbon?
 
  • #19
Got it after about an hour of "Googling" trying to find the right thing. Found an 18 page .pdf which explained things very nicely :smile:
 
  • #20
BrettBlade said:
1. No idea?
Hydrocarbons
2. No, they are hydrophobic.
What do you think hydrophobic means?
3. Water is denser? (so it sinks?)
Correct

Some further questions;

  1. Generally, which is higher; the boiling point of water or the ignition point of fat?
  2. What would happen in large volumes of water boiled (and turned into steam) inside a bowl full of fat?
 
  • #21
BrettBlade said:
Got it after about an hour of "Googling" trying to find the right thing. Found an 18 page .pdf which explained things very nicely :smile:

My apologies, I have been trying to reply but the forum is undergoing a software upgrade at the moment, so service is still a little shaky.
 

Related to Scientific explanation of a chip pan fire + water

1. How does water cause a chip pan fire?

Water can cause a chip pan fire by creating a reaction known as a "steam explosion." When water comes into contact with hot oil, it vaporizes into steam rapidly. This causes a sudden expansion of volume, which can result in the oil splashing out of the pan and igniting a fire.

2. Why is it dangerous to pour water on a chip pan fire?

Pouring water on a chip pan fire can be extremely dangerous because it can cause the fire to spread quickly and intensify. The steam explosion can also lead to hot oil splashing and potentially causing burns.

3. Can other liquids besides water be used to put out a chip pan fire?

Yes, other liquids such as baking soda, salt, or a fire extinguisher can be used to put out a chip pan fire. These substances work by smothering the flames and cutting off the oxygen supply.

4. What should I do if a chip pan fire occurs?

If a chip pan fire occurs, it is important to remain calm and act quickly. Turn off the heat source and cover the pan with a lid, a baking sheet, or a damp cloth to smother the flames. Do not attempt to move the pan or pour water on the fire. If the fire cannot be contained, evacuate the area and call the fire department.

5. How can chip pan fires be prevented?

To prevent chip pan fires, it is important to never leave a pan of hot oil unattended. Always keep a close eye on the pan and use a thermometer to monitor the temperature. It is also recommended to use a deep-fryer or an air fryer instead of a pan for frying foods. If a chip pan fire does occur, having a fire extinguisher nearby can help to quickly put out the flames.

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