Boiling water by lowering air pressure (link to high res. version in comments)


Boilingwater by lowering air pressure (link to high res. version in remarks)


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About the Author: livescience

13 Comments

  1. What happens if they proceed to boil all the water off and then quickly bring back the pressure to 1 atm? Will the boiled off water “rain”?

  2. I love physics. This is the exact same phenomenon that causes Cavitation in pumps. Localized low pressure zones that cause water to vaporize.

  3. This is how an Air Conditioning system works. Just replace water with refrigerant and vacuum for low pressure.

    If the pump was aloud to continue. The water would continue to boil. The water molecules leaving the surface tension also take away energy. That water will eventually turn to ice. Then you break the vacuum and it turns back into a liquid.

    People in the HVAC field use this knolage everyday. When we open a refrigeration system for repairs. We have to remove any moisture that has gotten into the system from the air. So we use a vacuum pump. After we use very precise tools to verify the level of vacuum and that there is no longer moisture in the system. We can add the refrigerant back into the system without worry of contamination. Here is the thing.

    As I stated before. If you pull a vacuum on liquid you run the risk of that liquid turning to ice. Then it is so much harder to boil off. It will continue to evaporate and leave the system. It just takes a long time. That is why we have to use the right sized vacuum pump for the job. But I could go on all day about this stuff.

  4. As boiling water is often used for sterilizing the water to kill pathogens, though raising the water temperature is the point, would boiling the water in a vacuum also sterilize the water, perhaps by breaking down cellular bonds that keep the pathogens alive? Could vacuum replace heat to kill pathogens?

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