Lighting a match with water

Lighting a match with water


I’ve just sent the better of
my hot plates to Japan. None of this stuff is
quite straight. This is my apparatus for, which
we’re going to use to light a match with water. Sounds an improbable thing to
do, but that’s what’s going to happen hopefully. I have never actually done this
before, so maybe it won’t happen, but we’ll see. So we’re going to boil water
in here, over a Bunsen. The steam is going to boil off,
flow through these tubes, into the coil, and out here. And while it’s flowing around
the coil, we’re going to try and superheat it with
a blowtorch. So when it comes out, it’s
a few hundred degrees centigrade. And hopefully that will be
enough to light a match. Of course it would have been
helpful if I’d filled that from the hot tap. Oop. Classic schoolboy error. OK. That will take a couple
minutes to come to the boil, I think. You can’t normally light
a match with water, or even steam. Because it’s just
not hot enough. The normal steam you get off
boiling water will condense pretty much immediately on
anything because it’s only just above its boiling point. So as soon as it hits anything
cooler, it will just condense. It’s getting hotter
quickly, actually. We want to really heat
the steam up to a few hundred degrees. At which point, hopefully we’ll
exceed the autoignition temperature of the head
of the match. So the head will have a
temperature at which, if you raise it to that temperature, it
will spontaneously ignite. And that’s what we’re
trying to do. Just to heat this water hot
enough that that will happen. OK. So the thermometer is
reading quite a lot less than 100 degrees. But that’s probably not
really a surprise. We’ve got this huge coil, which
at the moment is acting like a condenser. So we’re probably not getting
water above 100 degrees out the end. Which is where the blowtorch
comes in. So you saw just now, before I
started using the blowtorch, there was a lot of condensed
water dripping out the end of the pipe. The plume of droplets, the plume
of water mist that you saw coming out as the water
condensed, is now pretty much disappeared completely. Because it’s now too hot, and
it’s not condensing when it comes out at the end
of the pipe. It’s a bit of a problem juggling
all these extremely hot objects. But – I’ll probably just
take the blowtorch away while I do this. Oh. Not bad. I’ve never seen a match
do that before. It sort of smoldered
without igniting. Didn’t know that was possible. I wasn’t convinced that
there was enough heating going on there. So I’ve got another
Bunsen out. We’ll see how we get
on with that. So I’ve set the water
boiling off again. Let’s light this other Bunsen. Now we’ve got our copper coil
actually glowing red hot. So I think this is going
to do the job now. I don’t think it is that
easy to melt copper. I think it’ll radiate a
lot of heat before it gets to that point. OK. So let’s give the thermometer
a go. See if we’re – see how
hot we might be. It’s really racing up. Nope. Hm. I see. Well, I’ve learned something
new today. I’ve learnt that my thermometer
only goes up to 200 degrees. So we’ve maxed it out. Oh. There we go. That’s a really interesting
observation, actually. And I think that the problem we
had before was not so much that it wasn’t hot enough, but
that I was just holding the match too directly in
the stream of steam. And not pulling out as it
started to smolder. And obviously, there is
no oxygen in what’s coming out of here. This is pure gaseous water. So there’s no oxygen there. So the match wasn’t actually
able to ignite. And I think that was probably
the problem. And now: A, we’ve increased
the heat. But B, if I just stick it into
the stream and then withdraw it, to allow the air to
get to it, at that point the match ignites.


100 thoughts on “Lighting a match with water

  1. Guys he lit a match with water, steam is water. yes he used flames to heat up the water but what did you think he was gonna light a match with cold water?

  2. By applying external heat, particles forming the water was broken into proportions enough to separate them completely from one another so that the substance coming out of the tube is no longer steam but elemental particles enough for it to burn the match. Oxygen was supplied from the outside of the tube. Conduct this same experiment but without oxygen and the match would not burn.

    josepharellano.blogspot.com/push and pull of equilibrium

  3. I think you can also light a wooden stick without sulfur by a temperature of 180 degrees Celsius. But that's common sense.

  4. Where's the macro / close up shot of you putting the match in, and not pulling it out to let it ignite? The unexpected result is just as interesting as what you set out to do to begin with!

  5. Really interesting experiment, proves that superheated steam is definitely worth fitting to a boiler. If that point was ever in doubt.

  6. uses match to light Bunsen burner. uses another match to light blow torch. uses 3rd match to light 2nd Bunsen burner. all to light a match. what a genius.

  7. Loved the video but wouldn't it be cool if you went just a step further and took a plank and maybe hold it so you can hit it at your top strength against the table?

  8. I'm asuming it uses a thin layer of rubidium or another element that bursts into flame when it comes in contact with water.

  9. light a match with super heated steam* verry energy eficient indeed,btw you can light a match with nothing else then focused light it from the sun,this process uses less fosil fuels,or …. just use a bit of mecanical enegy by striking the mach on the striker on the match box …

  10. you didn't lite a match with water, you lit a match with a coil, glass container, 2 bunsen burners, and water.

  11. Cool, so you can light a match. So long as you already have two matches to light the who bunson burners necessary to make this work.

  12. When I were a lad and you had to keep an eye out for sabre-toothed tigers, there was a concept called "proof reading" where content was checked for errors before publication. Anyone can slip up. No oxygen in water/steam? Insert "free" before oxygen. Also I've got an ordinary oven thermometer that goes up to 300 C, if you want to borrow it for your next experiment. I guess the RI is short of funds.

  13. despite the video being nice what was the point of lighting a match with water how is it useful if u have to use 3 burners

  14. Rube Goldberg indeed. Besides it was immediately and painfully obvious that most things don't/won't ignite in the absence of oxygen, unless they were some alkaline metal like Potassium, Sodium, Magnesium, etc which can extract the Oxygen from the steam itself.

  15. So, he used a match to hear the water, used another match to heat the air hire bought to light a match? Hmmm, perhaps we just buy him a new box of matches

  16. the match head doesn't need oxygen to ignite. It contains oxidants such as KClO3 which provide quite enough oxygen (explosive) for the following reactions.

  17. ugh these comments are horrible, this was a demo of super heated steam not a new way to light a match! this was for fun and not to be used in a life or death situation, also, water may contain oxygen but it is still water, water =/= oxygen

  18. I can light a match solely with the power of my mind and I can turn it into an inferno with the exhaust of my body.
    Now seriously, is it possible to light a match with ultrasound?

  19. could you shoot a very fast moving stream of water at a strike anywhere match to ignite it? would it produce enough friction to light a match?

  20. This is beyond cool, but in the interest of honesty, you should really change the title to "Lighting a match with water VAPOR".

  21. Pathetic. Aside from a clickbait title, I'm not even convinced that the match was lit by superheated steam, though that would be no big deal if true. But you have a very, very hot blowtorch heating a copper coil. What's the temperature of the copper coil at the tip where the steam exits? Probably significantly higher than the exit temperature of the superheated steam. And the match head is within 3mm at most of that hot copper, which is what I think lit the match. So now try it with a ceramic nozzle, or some other good insulator.

  22. I thought this was actually going to be useful, but you've already got two flames going, what's the point?

  23. Can you shoot that in slo-mo. A match just burns with no contact, i loved the way it started burning from one side.

  24. Interesting but it seems to me that you proved that water will not light the match. Certainly the required heat comes from the water but nothing happened until you got the match away from the steam and in the presence of oxygen. Also, it was possible that the air near the outlet was being heated enough to ignite the match. I would want to see the match held nearby before being placed in the steam to be sure it was purely the heat from the steam that ignited the match.

  25. wow didn't know you could use a bunsen burner, a match, water, and a blowtorch to light a match… (sarcasm)

  26. what a useless experiment. you wasted tons of gas just to make this video. hoping for people to click on the advertisements and make some money.

  27. Not only is the second burner enough heat to light the match I bet it’s evaporating the water before it hits the match anyway

  28. "How to light a match with water, but you have to light 2 other matches the normal way as well as use other fuel in the form of Bunsen burners and a blowtorch"

  29. I wish I had just 5 percent of the equipment that is visible in this video. Making my scientific equipment out of spare parts from microwaves and various pumps is so time consuming. This is one of my favorite things to do, though.

  30. It would have been good to explain to people how this happened. What I can see was that the steam was coming out at a temperature that is so high, that it was above the ignition temperature of a match; and so a match would pyrolyze and change etc easily. The match however must be drawn away, in order to let this really hot match get access to oxygen. It is the access to oxygen in the air, while the match is still above ignition point in the air; which leads to the match combustion.

  31. You are not lighting the match with water… You are lighting the match with super heated steam… You''ve used heat, to seperate the oxygen & hydrogen into gas & then heated both elements to about 800 degrees Celcius.. BTW, you struck the first match, so it doesn't count. About as exciting as making a cup of tea.

  32. It's not the water that is lighting the match, it's hot air. By using the secondary torch you are heating the copper coil and the air inside. All the water is doing is pushing the air out where it lights the match.

  33. How can he claim that there is no OXYGEN in the steam? He is heating water into steam a state change so it is still H20,

  34. I would just use a clear plastic with some clean water in it & just go outside in the sunlight.

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