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Author: Subject: Spontaneous combustion of cotton balls
LanthanumK
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[*] posted on 31-1-2013 at 16:41
Spontaneous combustion of cotton balls


Cotton balls are extremely flammable because of their fineness. I am wondering if a clean cotton ball soaked in 3% hydrogen peroxide and placed in air will concentrate the hydrogen peroxide by evaporation enough for spontaneous ignition.

Just for safety's sake, I wash out all potentially flammable items (cotton balls, tissues, paper towels) that have been in contact with hydrogen peroxide. I want to know if this process is necessary. Ever since a previous experiment with household chemicals which resulted in the contents of a garbage can spontaneously igniting, I have been leery of such potentially dangerous mixtures.




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gregxy
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[*] posted on 31-1-2013 at 16:58


People have been using cotton balls to apply H2O2 to injuries
for ages so if it was a danger I'm sure we would have heard of
it by now.

The water may evaporate faster, but no where near fast
enough to create a dangerous level of H2O2.
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bfesser
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[*] posted on 31-1-2013 at 17:08


Linseed oil may cause cotton balls to ignite upon evaporation, but I doubt that aqueous H<sub>2</sub>O<sub>2</sub> in any weak concentration would. Related: <a href="http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fire_piston" target="_blank">Fire Piston</a> <img src="../scipics/_wiki.png" />

[Edited on 7/9/13 by bfesser]




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AndersHoveland
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[*] posted on 31-1-2013 at 23:14


Quote: Originally posted by LanthanumK  
Cotton balls are extremely flammable because of their fineness. I am wondering if a clean cotton ball soaked in 3% hydrogen peroxide and placed in air will concentrate the hydrogen peroxide by evaporation enough for spontaneous ignition.

No. Spontaneous combustion does not become possible until the concentration reaches above 30%. Even then it is still unlikely. If you want to demonstrate spontaneous combustion, I think you will have to use at least 60% concentration, and leave it outside on a dry sunny day to evaporate.

The fineness of cotton balls will probably not make much difference in this situation, since it will be the wetted portion that is catching fire.

The spontaneous combustion of organic fuels with hydrogen peroxide is initiated through a radical cascade mechanism. Otherwise hydrogen peroxide will not react with cotton, at least not readily under normal conditions.

[Edited on 1-2-2013 by AndersHoveland]
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hissingnoise
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[*] posted on 1-2-2013 at 06:21


Quote:
Related: <a href="http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fire_piston" target="_blank">Fire Piston</a> <img src="../scipics/_wiki.png" />

The entire basis of Rudolf Diesel's engine . . .

<!-- bfesser_edit_tag -->[<a href="u2u.php?action=send&username=bfesser">bfesser</a>: fixed broken image(s)]

[Edited on 7/9/13 by bfesser]
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Morgan
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[*] posted on 1-2-2013 at 07:03


Tidbit
"Pyrogène: Made by an unknown manufacturer (marked CBG) in France ca. 1850. A practical pneumatic air compression lighter (piston) using tinder, comprising a small container for the latter."
http://www.vintagelighterbook.com/html/pre-flint_lighters.ht...
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bfesser
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[*] posted on 1-2-2013 at 07:34


Fascinating link, thank you for sharing. I have some old lighters given to me by my father which belonged to his grandfather. Maybe I can identify them now.



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Ral123
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[*] posted on 1-2-2013 at 08:36


With just a little white phosphorus you'll have a nasty self igniting piece. It can be done easily:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-A_DUueAM2k
just scrape some red P from the sides a match box, place in a test tube and heat. White P will condense on the walls and you'll have that. In the video it ignites by iteslf at 3:28.
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SM2
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[*] posted on 1-2-2013 at 09:19


Well !st. of all, people have been applying water basically, a very dil soln. of H2O2. Even with close to neet H2O2, even though a fire may occur (or a nice boom), but nothing like an esterification, AFAIK. I just don't think the links are there in cellulose to make a jihadi peroxide, but I really don't know. Some compounds have a high latent HO evap, and, for example some very dry porous carbon, which has had a somewhat benign nitro compound absorbed onto it's surface quickly.

WTF is it with jihadists what with their peroxides and tramadol?

I guess they get the $hittiest option of explosive and analgesic. Seriously, google tramadol news and its all in the middle east.
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