Will Diesel Melt Styrofoam?

Styrofoam will not be harmed by diesel fuel, but it will be melted by gasoline.

Does diesel fuel dissolve Styrofoam?

Almost all types of plastic may be recycled, but styrofoam or polystyrene–used in packaging and to manufacture take-away cups for hot drinks–is more difficult. It is just not cost effective to recycle the material because it is so bulky and inexpensive. That is why the novel process for disposing of the stuff in biodiesel is so intriguing. Song-Charng Kong of Iowa State University discovered that a polystyrene cup dissolves almost instantly in biodiesel, just like a paper cup “a speck of snow in the water.” A diesel engine’s power output can be improved by up to 5% with the resulting plastic-enhanced fuel. The higher viscosity of the new gasoline, according to the research, merely pushes up the pressure inside the fuel-injection system, increasing the engine’s efficiency.

Of course, nature tries to balance things out, and the experimentally-fueled engine’s output contained more soot, carbon monoxide, and nitrous oxide. Increased carbon particulates and monoxides are harmful to human health, while nitrous oxide combines with sunlight in the atmosphere to generate ozone, which is harmful to plants and animals at low altitudes. While all of this sounds awful, it appears that altering the engine’s fuel injection system to provide a better fuel-burn from the new mix could bring the pollution levels down to more acceptable levels.

So it’s likely that using biodiesel instead of landfills to dispose of polystyrene is a better option “Killing two birds with one stone” is a technique used to kill two birds with one stone. It’s also worth noting that the plastic dissolves far better in regular petroleum-based diesel, implying that it would be possible to boost the power output of ordinary diesel engines while lowering their fuel consumption. That isn’t a long-term solution, but it is a viable option while we wait for long-distance electric vehicles.

What happens if you mix Styrofoam and gasoline?

When styrofoam (extruded polystyrene) is combined with gasoline, it degrades. As a result, the mess becomes moist and gooey as all of the air inside escapes. Without the air, leaving it out to dry will make it harder again, but not as hard as before.

What will dissolve Styrofoam?

The solubility of polystyrene in an organic solvent is demonstrated by dissolving Styrofoam or another polystyrene product in acetone. It also shows how much air there is in the Styrofoam. Simply pour a small amount of acetone into a dish and fill it with Styrofoam beads, packing peanuts, foam pieces, or even a Styrofoam cup. In the same way as sugar dissolves in hot water, Styrofoam will dissolve in acetone. Due to the fact that Styrofoam is mainly air, you might be surprised at how much (or how little) foam dissolves in acetone. An full bean bag’s worth of styrofoam beads can be dissolved with a cup of acetone.

Does Styrofoam in gasoline make napalm?

Napalm is a flammable petroleum mixture thickened with special soaps. It’s just Styrofoam insulation or packing peanuts mixed with gasoline. This mixture produces a sticky material known as Napalm.

Does motor oil dissolve Styrofoam?

The electric charge of molecules is described by polarity. A polar molecule is water. At one end of the molecule, two hydrogen atoms form a positive charge. At the other end of the water molecule, an oxygen atom provides a negative charge. Water is polar because of its oppositely charged ends. Oil is a nonpolar substance. Unlike water, oil molecules do not have different charges at either end.

Many chemical interactions are explained by polarity differences. Similar chemicals tend to mix together, whereas opposites tend to separate. It’s referred to as the “like dissolves like” rule in chemistry.

It explains why nonpolar oil separates from polar water, yet polar salt dissolves in water. Or how nonpolar fingernail polish remover dissolves nonpolar fingernail polish from nails. Oil dissolves Styrofoam for the same reason. Both of these substances are nonpolar.

What happens when you mix acetone and Styrofoam?

Styrofoam dissolves in acetone but does not melt due to the lack of heat required for melting. Acetone (formula (CH3)2CO) destroys the polystyrene bonds that hold it together. Because styrofoam contains primarily air pockets, air can escape when the bindings are disrupted. The volume of the styrofoam diminishes as the air leaves.

What can gasoline dissolve?

Hexane, heptane, and octane are only a few of the nonpolar chemicals found in gasoline. Gasoline is an excellent solvent for oils and grease. Hexane is a solvent for vegetable oils like peanut and soybean oil that has been separated from other gasoline components.

Why is napalm illegal?

A manufacturer in Michigan released the XM42, a $899 model that appears more like a toy, six months after their “realistic” flamethrower debuted on sale. It’s a handgun with a long barrel that’s designed to look like a shark.

“Most people just use it to show off to their buddies, walking out in the open to shoot fire in the air, or putting up objects to burn,” said Chris Byars, the founder of the app. “It’s similar to going to a target range and firing a rifle.” It’s just something I enjoy doing.”

According to XMatter’s research, this is legal everywhere except Maryland, where flamethrowers are prohibited, and California, where a permit is required.

There are no federal laws or limits on flamethrowers, according to a representative for the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives. Flamethrowers, ironically, do not qualify as “firearms.” A firearm, according to the National Firearms Act, is a weapon that fires a projectile through the action of an explosive, which a flamethrower does not.

Despite the fact that modern flamethrowers aren’t designed to be weapons, we’ve seen them used in movies — from Iron Man shooting flames from his hands to Sigourney Weaver incinerating aliens to that terrifying scene in “Project X” where an angry drug dealer sets fire to homes, cars, and SWAT team members.

The most historically accurate depiction of flamethrowers is one that serves as a stark warning of their deadly potential. In the movie “Saving Private Ryan,” troops surround a bunker and fire everything within in seconds. Enemy soldiers are thrown out of the building, enveloped in flames, and left to burn.

“You could assault without being attacked with flamethrowers,” said Bruce Gudmundsson, a historian at the Marine Corps University in Quantico, Va. The Germans invented flamethrowers, which were utilized in World Wars I and II, but the concept dates back to A.D. 672. That is when a man named Kallinikos is supposed to have devised “Greek Fire” to defend the Byzantine Empire’s capital of Constantinople, or modern-day Istanbul. The flames from his fire siphon would squirt from one wooden boat to the next.

“It was as dangerous for the people shooting the flames as it was for the people in the line of fire,” weapons historian Mike Loades said.

From catapults that blasted fireballs over castle walls to the flammable liquid napalm, known for the catastrophic destruction it did in the Vietnam War, fire weapons have always been volatile. Around the same time as the United Nations banned the use of flamethrowers and napalm against civilians, the Defense Department phased out incendiary weapons. President Barack Obama signed that United Nations pact on his first day in office, three decades later.

He presumably had no idea that the employment of flamethrowers by — or against — people on American soil would one day become a problem. Opponents, though, are concerned, and their numbers are expected to grow as the public becomes aware of the flamethrowers’ availability. So far, Jim Fouts, the mayor of Warren, Mich., near where XM42s are made, has been the only politician to speak out on the issue.

“My greatest concern is that terrorists would exploit this,” Fouts said, noting domestic killers like Adam Lanza, who massacred 27 people at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Conn., in 2012. “Imagine what an out-of-control mind could do with a flamethrower.”

Fouts mentioned a variety of potential dangers in a phone conversation, including to the person wielding the flamethrower. The substances employed – gasoline, diesel fuel, or napalm — are extremely combustible, and if they leaked while the devices were in use, they might produce explosions.

The X15 and XM42 makers are adamant about the quality of the sealants that hold their flamethrowers together, as well as the meticulous inspection of each flamethrower before distribution.

Defenders argue that, like any other tool or weapon, the object’s safety is determined by the person who uses it.

“There’s no reason a rifle, a screwdriver, a hammer, or a flamethrower shouldn’t be authorized,” said Brian Alexander, who uses an XM42 on his Kansas ranch for controlled burns. “They’re only hazardous when the wrong person uses them recklessly.”

A vote on the mayor’s proposed legislation to prohibit the assembly, storage, and use of flamethrowers is scheduled for Tuesday night in Warren. Cecil St. Pierre, the president of the City Council, predicted that it would pass unanimously.

In the remaining 96,682 square miles of Michigan and 47 other states, flamethrowers will be permitted.