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Practice English Speaking&Listening with: What Do HOT COALS do in a Vacuum Chamber?

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Today, we're going to test what happens

if you put burning charcoal into a vacuum chamber.

Are they going to keep burning?

Will they go out?

Let's find out what changes.


YouTuber Donta Sharp asked what would happen

if we put hot coals in a vacuum chamber.

Donta, we don't know,

and so we are going to find out.

We've got some hot coals.

We've got a vacuum chamber.

Let's see what they do.

We got a camera and a light going inside.

Let's see what happens when you turn on the vacuum.

There's a tornado in there.

We should film all sorts of things inside vacuum chamber.

I see glowing.

There's orange starting to show up on the edge of those coals.

Oh, yeah.

That's picking up.

They're starting to glow.

Good airflow.


There's charcoal in one type of vacuum chamber.

Now, I'm sure

what you meant was putting in a low pressure vacuum chamber,

and of course, we're going to do that too.

Let's talk about how.

As a control,

we are just going to put some unlit charcoal

into our chamber to see how that's different.

My prediction is

that we won't be able to see any change.

Nothing will move.

We'll just have the charcoal sitting in there.

And that's okay.

The point of this isn't actually to see

what happens in low pressure.

It's the see what happens in low oxygen.

And once those are burning, that should make a difference.

Now to me,

that didn't look like a whole lot changed,

which as I said is what we expected.

Unburning charcoal, doesn't do much in vacuum.

Now, let's test burning, and like I said,

we're going to do this in a few different ways.

We're going to have burning charcoal down

in our vacuum chamber, sitting on top of some kaowool,

so that the heat isn't directly transferred into the glass.

We're going to take another chamber,

same size and shape,

and we're going to put some more charcoal in that.

In that one,

we're also going to add a bit of dry ice.

Hopefully, that will just flood the entire inside

with carbon dioxide,

and we can see the difference between a non-oxygen environment

and a carbon dioxide environment.

Then we'll have one final set of charcoal off the side,

also not in a jar.

It will be exposed to the air,

but we're going to use our shop vac to blow air onto it.

So it has sort of an extra oxygen enriched environment.

I figured that will give us a good spread

from high oxygen down to no or opposing oxygen environments.

We'll see which charcoals burn the fastest,

and we've got

a temperature gun to see what the difference is in heat.

Here's the basic idea.

We're going to take some burning charcoal,

we'll put it in a vacuum chamber,

another chamber with carbon dioxide,

a pile charcoal just sitting in the air,

and some more charcoal with added air being blown on it.

One idea that we did have was actually to use

pure oxygen to show what that did with the charcoal.

There's a couple of reasons we're not going to do that.

One, this is not a very common situation.

The air around us is actually not a pure oxygen environment.

Most of it is nitrogen with some oxygen, carbon dioxide,

and other elements floating around in it.

The other reason is that these tanks aren't free,

and we actually go through them really quickly while trying

this experiment out.

We are hoping to let things run a little bit longer than that,

but we did want to show you

what happens when we put a pure oxygen stream

onto one of these burning pieces of charcoal.

It's pretty neat.


You can already see how much it heats the coal up,

and gets it burning better.

But watch what happens as I get the oxygen even closer,

making it more intense.


This wasn't a brand-new canister,

but it is now empty.

Like I said, it goes through it really quickly.

Look at that.

Where I was blowing the oxygen right in, it just,

it burns so well and intensely

that just tunneled right down through.

Also, it really sparks a lot.

I think it burned me through my glove a little bit.


Okay, now we're going to fill this chamber

with carbon dioxide by using the dry ice.

So we're just gonna let this overflow down

into that chamber a little bit.


Of course now, the GoPro can't see anything,

but it'll clear out really soon.


Lot of vapor in there.


Using dry ice down into there as well.

At that point,

there should be almost exclusively carbon dioxide

in that chamber without really any oxygen or nitrogen,

or any of those other things.


Our thermometer is currently showing our outside charcoal

at 850 degrees, approximately.

That's in Fahrenheit.

That's warm.

Okay, this puts out a lot of air.

We're going to be blowing that on the charcoal,

and it's going to start glowing orange like immediately.


All right, quick update.

If you remember,

we are getting about 880 degrees

Fahrenheit with the charcoal just sitting there.

Let's look at what it is with the charcoal

we've been hitting with the air.

1,300 degrees Fahrenheit.


For a second, it was at 1,300.

It's already dropping,

but that was 500 degrees Fahrenheit hotter

just from the vacuum.

That's a lot.


It's been 10, maybe 12 minutes that we've been letting all four

of these types run,

and we want to do a temperature update.

Sorry about the noise.

The vacuum is running,

and we do want to let it keep going.

But we're going to do a check.

Oh, no, we lost them.

Well, let's do a check of this one.

All right.

The moment this tiny one is only registering 1,100--

Oh, 1,200 for a second.

Before, when all three were stacked,

this registered at over 1,500 degrees Fahrenheit.

So we're going to put

that at 1,500 because those just barely got blown over.

Let's check the ones just sitting out.

All right,

between 790 and 850 is kind of what we're getting here.

Our carbon dioxide.


Wow, that is 220 down there.

That's like barely hot enough to boil water.

This has gone way down.

So under 300, definitely.

All right, we are going to let are back into this one.

I'm gonna try and do it slowly

so it doesn't fan the charcoal too much.


So like the carbon dioxide environment,

this is really suffering on heat.

We've let some hot coals sit out in the open air for a while,

and we've gotten to the point

where they're really falling apart.

They're mostly made of ash

so I figure that's a good time to compare

how they are to the ones in our carbon dioxide chamber

and our vacuum chamber.

Let's take a look.


Most of our mass is gone from those.

They've burned down most to the ash,

so let's do a comparison.

We already looked at the ones that we're blowing with a vacuum,

and those just, it took 10 minutes maybe,

and there's just down to this size,

maybe even smaller.

Gotta say, preliminarily,

our charcoal in here doesn't look

like it's been burning very much compared to this.

It's about the size that they went in.

So we've got thousand degrees surface temperature

on these ones.

80 degrees surface temperature in these ones.

All right, that--

I'm going to risk this,

and just grab it with my fingers.



I mean, that's just out.

There is no burning left to this.

The carbon dioxide put that charcoal out completely.


It's not on fire.

It's-- I wouldn't call that a hot coal anymore.

That's just left over charcoal.

No longer burning.

All right, let's check our vacuum chamber.

Also 92,

and that is really similar to the carbon dioxide one.

Okay, I'm going to risk it again.

Pull that out.

This one feels a tiny bit warmer,

just like a couple of degrees.

Like it does feel slightly warm compared to the dry ice ones,

which just didn't feel warm at all.

They felt fairly cool.

But again, no danger in me holding this.

They're not hot.

They are not going to burn me.

Nothing is glowing.

There's no ember left.

Those are out.

Donta Sharp, thank you for your suggestion

of putting hot coals in a vacuum chamber.

I think we learned some interesting things.

It was really cool to see what it did.

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