Announcement

Collapse
No announcement yet.

Barbeque season fun

Collapse
X
 
  • Filter
  • Time
  • Show
Clear All
new posts

  • Barbeque season fun

    http://members.iinet.net.au/~lhore/bbq.html


    LIGHTING CHARCOAL or WHY ENGINEERS ARE THE WAY THEY ARE


    Our subject today is lighting charcoal grills. One of our favorite charcoal grill lighters id a guy named George Goble (really!!), a computer person in the Purdue University engineering department.

    Each year, Goble and a bunch of other engineers hold a picnic in West Lafayette, Indiana, at which they cook hamburgers on a big grill. Being engineers, they began looking for practical ways to speed up the charcoal-lighting process. "We started by blowing the charcoal with a hair dryer," Goble told me in a telephone interview. "Then we figured out that it would light faster if we used a vacuum cleaner." If you know anything about (1) engineers and (2) guys in general, you know what happened: The purpose of the charcoal-lighting shifted from cooking hamburgers to seeing how fast they could light the charcoal.

    From the vacuum cleaner, they escalated to using a propane torch, then an acetylene torch. Then Goble started using compressed pure oxygen, which caused the charcoal to burn much faster, because as you recall from chemistry class, fire is essentially the rapid combination of oxygen with a reducing agent (the charcoal). We discovered that a long time ago, somewhere in the valley between the Tigris and the Euphrates rivers (or something along those lines).

    By this point, Goble was getting pretty good times. But in the world of competitive charcoal-lighting, "pretty good" does not cut the mustard. Thus, Goble hit upon the idea of using - get ready - Liquid Oxygen.

    This is the form of oxygen is used in rocket engines; it's 295 degrees below zero and 600 times as dense as regular oxygen. In terms of releasing energy, pouring liquid oxygen on charcoal is the equivalent of throwing a live squirrel into a room containing 50 million Labrador retrievers.

    On Goble's web page (http://ghg.ecn.purdue.edu/) (now offline) , you can see actual photographs and a video of Goble using a bucket attached to a 10-foot-long wooden handle to dump 3 gallons of liquid oxygen (not sold in stores) onto a grill containing 60 pounds of charcoal and a lit cigarette for ignition. What follows is the most impressive charcoal-lighting I have ever seen, featuring a large fireball that according to Goble, reached 10,000 degrees Fahrenheit. The charcoal was ready for cooking in - this has to be a world record - 3 seconds. There's also a photo of what happened when Goble used the same technique on a flimsy $2.88 discount-store grill. All that's left is a circle of charcoal with a few shreds of metal in it. "Basically, the grill vaporized," said Goble. "We were thinking of returning it to the store for a refund."

    Looking at Goble's video and photos, I became, as an American, all choked up with gratitude at the fact that I do not live anywhere near the engineers picnic site. But also, I was proud of my country for producing guys who can be ready to barbeque in less time then it takes for guys in less-advanced nations, such as France, to spit.

    Will the 3-second barrier ever be broken? Will engineers come up with a new, more powerful charcoal-lighting technology? It's something for all of us to ponder this summer as we sit outside, chewing our hamburgers, every now and then glancing in the direction of West Lafayette, Indiana, looking for a mushroom cloud.

    Engineers are like that. (Too bad he didn't think of soaking the charcoal in LH2 before pouring the LO2 on it!!)


    [This message has been edited by Evan (edited 06-18-2003).]
    Free software for calculating bolt circles and similar: Click Here

  • #2
    3 seconds? I'm hungry NOW!

    Well, now we know that Evan is a pseudonym for Dave Barry.

    Comment


    • #3
      I didn't write that. I snagged it from a web page that claims no copyright explicitly.
      Free software for calculating bolt circles and similar: Click Here

      Comment


      • #4
        This, of course, creates another challenge. Gotta get an old punch press rigged up to form the burgers
        Den

        Comment


        • #5
          That would permit a man (or perhaps a sister) to cook up a meatloaf in no time flat!

          Comment


          • #6
            Could we possibly be talking about Thrud's sister's meatloaf ?

            Comment


            • #7
              The NEXT challenge:

              How fast can a live cow be redused to hamburger patties?

              Ooolgh! I don't even want to think about it.

              Comment


              • #8
                Poor right up but still funny. Sound's like Dave Barry. That sight used to be linked to one called 'Radical and Extream Hobbies'. As I recal Goabal was actualy head of either the Chemistry or Physics Dept. hence the access to the liquid oxygen. One very important thing that was stressed in the original web sight that was not mentioned here is that the l.o. is poured over the charcoal, the charcol MUST NOT be soaked in it like lighter fluid. Goabal claimed it one charcoal bricket soaked in l.o. would be the equivelent of setting off a full stick of dinamite.

                -Dave

                Comment


                • #9
                  OMG!!!Canadian meatloaf and LOX!Quick call "W" and tell him Canada has WMD'S! Geez that could end life on the planet as we know it!
                  I just need one more tool,just one!

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Hi All,
                    Pretty cool BBQ starter! I don't want to throw a wet blanket on things, but as a word of warning to anyone thinking about trying this at home.... LOX, if leaked onto asphalt, or any other oil bearing material for that matter, can detonate with very low pressure applied to the surface. Even walking across asphalt that has had LOX dripped on it can cause detonation. Concrete is required around LOX fill stations for that very reason. Oxygen is your friend when it comes to staying alive, saving a life and welding. Use extreme caution when using it for anything else. Other examples dangerous use that I've become acquainted with have been its use in Spud Guns and to assist in starting a hard to start Briggs and Stratton engine. Both ended with catastrophic result and the spud gun nor the Briggs will ever function again.
                    I hope no one here takes offense to this advise. I certainly don't mean to insult anyone's intelligence. I guess that since my profession is as a Firefighter (South Florida) it comes natural to me to try to prevent accidents and injuries. Have fun and be safe!
                    Steve

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Fortunately, LOX is hard to get. But, nitrogen tri-iodide is easy to make, and no, I won't tell how. Put it on the asphalt and the hot sun is enough to set it off. I will tell about one fun with gases item though. I'm sure many of you have tried the oxy/acety in a small box trick. You set the torch with small tip to neutral flame and rub out the flame. Fill a SMALL box, like a points box, I mean SMALL box, with the gas mixture. Step back and relight torch. Apply to box. It is probably not a good idea to do this in a closed space with glass windows.

                      For New Years fill a SMALL balloon, tie it off, tie it to a helium balloon big enough to lift it. Leave about six feet of string hanging down from the gas mix balloon, find an open area away from windows. Light string and let go. BOOOOOM.

                      [This message has been edited by Evan (edited 06-19-2003).]
                      Free software for calculating bolt circles and similar: Click Here

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Oxygen can kill you in other ways also.
                        Compressed air is used for SCUBA because pure oxygen can kill you quick below 33' depth.

                        When I worked graveyard shift at Westinghouse, the old-time welders showed me something they did for fun and to PO the machine shop supervisor. This is for info only and don't try it yourself!

                        They would weld a cap with a small ID on one end of a piece of 4" pipe about 2-3 feet in length. They would weld the pipe to the fab floor and stuff the open end with rags. Then they'd put the unlit torch tip in the hole and fill the pipe with gas. Then they'd knock the flux of a piece of welding rod and with the rod in the stinger, and the welder OFF, place the bare rod in the hole in the end cap. After making sure the area was clear, they would throw the power switch on the welder from across the shop and.....rags would go flying and the machine shop boss would come to the fab dept. to see what happened. Some of those guys I worked with were crazy for sure.

                        Les

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Again, don't try this at home, but as long as were confesing (I can see where this thread is going to go ) I made a very interesting 'breach loading rifle' with a length of 1/8" tubing and an air nozel. The first projectile was a hypodermic needle stuck on the end of a long surgical swab. Place in breach, hold air nozel to it and fire. Damn thing went part way through a heavily upolsterd office chair at 20'. We didn't try that again, too dangerous. The only other experement involved the same setup but with the air noxel permanently mounted and a hopper on top. We put a table spoon of large lead shot (aprox 3/64") in the hopper and fired. Turned out we had invented an air rifle burp gun. Made an interesting sound and emptied real quick.

                          Again, don't try it yourself, I tried it once but the potential damage and liability is not worth it.

                          -Dave

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            last week, figured 9 year Gson was ready to hear a "pop". Per idea from an old thread (i disremember who presented it but thanks anyway) i turned on Oxy/act torch adjusted the flame to neutral and extinguished it- thats a trick in its slef. Put a small "water ballon on the tip, blew it up to about 3- 4 inches dia. tied end, and from a distance ignited it. a must satisfing boom. Kid said his ears rang. mine did too. I would say don't do it but it is fun! explode out side. Wonder what a good condum would do? but be damn sure to try a small ballon, and stand back. go for maybe 1 inch first. balloons were like a penny each at walmart. I ignited elecrtically. Do not use anything where you are close. and do outside. debris was only a scrap of rubber. coursesomehere love explosions some hate them
                            Steve

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              One New Years eve about a dozen years ago, we were at a friends place out in the desert near Salton Sea in So Cal. My brother just happened to have his torch set in the truck. He got a lightweight large plastic garbage bag and filled it from the torch. We wrapped duct tape to seal the bag and a long length of the tape hanging as a fuse.
                              A nice breeze was blowing. He lit the hanging tape and pushed the bag up into the air. The bag rose a little and the breeze carried it about 50 yards before the breeze died and the bag settled and caught in the brush. It appeared that the fuse went out and it just sat there.
                              Soon we were all arguing about whether to shoot it or wait awhile to make sure the fuse was dead. My brother decided the fuse was dead and took one step in the direction of the bag and it ignited.
                              It looked like, sounded like, and felt like a MOAB had gone off!
                              The next day some friends came out from town and asked if that was us playing around the night before. It seems the sound carries right along the mountains eight miles to their house.
                              We decided we were never doing that trick again. Much too dangerous.

                              I am now a firm believer in using torch gear for it's intended purpose only, cutting and welding. No more screwing around with it.

                              Les

                              Comment

                              Working...
                              X