DailyDirt: Watched Pots Do Boil
from the urls-we-dig-up dept
People often joke about how bad they are at cooking that they can’t even boil water, but the process of boiling water is actually so ubiquitous and important that figuring out how to do it more efficiently is a significant challenge. We’ve mentioned some materials and designs that can help speed up the boiling process before, so here are a couple more cool ways to vaporize liquids.
- More efficient fractional distillation can separate alcohol from water using nanoparticles. Dissolved nanoparticles of gold-silica can absorb light and heat up just the surface of a liquid, allowing the more volatile alcohol to vaporize (and avoiding an azeotropic mixture). [url]
- Taking advantage of the Leidenfrost effect, steel balls coated with a super-hydrophobic coating can be heated to 400°C and plunged into room temperature water without producing violent boiling bubbles. This discovery could help improve various heat-transfer techniques and make some large industrial processes much safer. [url]
- Producing steam using solar energy can be done very quickly using nanoparticles, too. Heating up water to its boiling point is useful for a lot of applications (eg. producing electricity, purifying water, etc), so any tricks to make the process more efficient could have a significant impact on energy usage. [url]
After you’ve finished checking out those links, take a look at our Daily Deals for cool gadgets and other awesome stuff.