‘Water is made of two hydrogen atoms attached to an oxygen atom. This seems like pretty basic chemistry, so why don’t we just smash them together and solve the world’s water ills? Theoretically, this is possible, but it would be an extremely dangerous process, too.
To create water, oxygen and hydrogen atoms must be present. Mixing them together doesn’t help; you’re still left with just separate hydrogen and oxygen atoms. The orbits of each atom’s electrons must become linked, and to do that we must have a sudden burst of energy to get these shy things to hook up.
Since hydrogen is extremely flammable and oxygen supports combustion, it wouldn’t take much to create this force. Pretty much all we need is a spark – not even a flame – and boom! we have water. The hydrogen and oxygen atoms’ electrons’ orbits have been conjoined.
But we also have an explosion and – if our experiment was big enough, a deadly one.
The ill-fated blimp, the Hindenburg, was filled with hydrogen to keep it afloat. As it approached New Jersey on May 6, 1937, to land after a trans-Atlantic voyage, static electricity (or an act of sabotage, according to some) caused the hydrogen to spark. When mixed with the ambient oxygen in the air, the hydrogen exploded, enveloping the Hindenburg in a ball of fire that completely destroyed the ship within half a minute.
There was, however, also a lot of water created by this explosion.’
This example, I think, would be enough to give anyone pause about trying to get oxygen and hydrogen to do the nasty to produce water. But fear not, fellow homo sapien, there are some wonder workers out there that have come up with some interesting and feasible ideas on how to create water – more about that next wee.
For now, and in the foreseeable future, should you require drinking water that doesn’t go boom when you drink it, have a look at our rather nifty range of water coolers; water boilers; water fountains … (the list goes on). You’re welcome to drop us an e-mail and we’ll be happy to take you through the best water cooler for your requirements.
Rather unfortunately, our water coolers are not cut out for scientific water experiments. Just in case you were wondering.