Why shouldn't boileezers be added to hot liquids?

It's fairly easy to superheat a pure liquid in a scratch-free glass container. Superheated liquids are liquids at a temperature above their boiling points. Place some distilled water in a very clean, scratch-free glass container in a microwave and heat it on high. Watch for steam. Stop the oven and drop a teabag into the water. If the water was very clean, dropping in the teabag will cause the water to begin to boil vigorously, because it will provide a lot of surfaces for bubbles to form on. Superheated liquids will become boiling liquids if tiny particles are added to them, or if they are brought into contact with rough surfaces, or if they are stirred.

Adding boileezers to a hot liquid can cause the liquid, if superheated, to begin to boil very violently. In fact, the result can be almost explosive. It's not a good idea.

Author: Fred Senese senese@antoine.frostburg.edu

General Chemistry Online! Why shouldn't boileezers be added to hot liquids?

Copyright © 1997-2010 by Fred Senese
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Last Revised 08/17/15.URL: http://antoine.frostburg.edu/chem/senese/101/safety/faq/print-boileezers.shtml