SCIENCE / PHYSICS

Here's How to Light a Match Using Water

In this new video from YouTube creator Steve Mould, water is super heated and used to start a fire rather than put one out.


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Water and fire don't seem like they should be able to spark one another, and if anything, water seems like the go-to solution for putting out fires rather than starting them. However, this new video from YouTube content creator Steve Mould shows how water in the form of superheated steam could be all anyone needs to light a match and start a fire. 

Here's how it works. Fires need heat, fuel, and oxygen. When you douse a flame with water, Mould explained, you remove the element of heat, thanks to water's high heat capacity. However, under the right circumstances, water can facilitate the heat needed to start a fire rather than quench it. 

The boiling point of water is 100 degrees Celcius (212 degrees Fahrenheit). Water becomes steam at that temperature, changing from liquid to gas. In order for the liquid to change into a vapor, the molecules need energy (called the Heat of Vaporization). This allows the steam to have much more energy than the water because of the calories of energy needed for liquid to convert into a gas. Using the copper tubing boosts the energy absorbed by the steam in the tubing, thus giving us the heat needed to start the fire. 

Here's How to Light a Match Using Water  

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