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Boil Water in a Paper Bag

Boiling Water in a Bag Chem Demo

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Here's an interesting project for you to try: boil water in a paper bag.

Perform the Project

  1. Place a ring stand over a bunsen burner. That's right, we're going to boil the water in the paper bag over an open flame! Alternatively, you can make a box using printer paper and either paper clips or Scotch tape.

  2. Place a screen on the ring stand. This will help to evenly distribute the heat from the flame.

  3. Add about 200 ml of water to a small paper bag (about 4-6" across) and place the bag of water on the screen over the burner flame.

  4. Wait for the water to boil.

How It Works

Paper is a poor conductor of heat so the water heats slowly. Conduction of heat through the paper eventually increases the temperature of the water to its boiling point. The heat keeps the water from seeping through the bag, while the high heat capacity of the water keeps the paper from igniting.

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