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Researchers have created a revolutionary liquid fuel that they maintain cannot cause unintentional fires while being stored or transported.
Typically, when a fuel ignites, it is not the liquid itself that burns. Instead, the flammable molecules above the liquid react with oxygen and create a flame.
According to a recent study published in the Journal of the American Chemical Society, the cutting-edge fuel needed an electric charge in order to ignite and could not be easily lit with a traditional flame.
According to Prithwish Biswas, a co-author from the University of California – Riverside, when a match is thrown into a pool of gasoline on the ground, it is the vapor of the gas that is burning. By controlling the vapor, one can determine whether the fuel will burn.
Scientists altered the chemical composition of the fuel’s foundation, an ionic liquid, by substituting chlorine with perchlorate in a recent research project.
After testing a cigarette lighter on the fresh liquid, it was discovered that it did not ignite.
According to Yujie Wang, one of the study’s authors, the temperature of a regular lighter is sufficiently high and if it were capable of causing a burn, it would have already done so.
However, after applying an electric charge to the liquid and then exposing it to a lighter flame, researchers discovered that the fuel was able to ignite.
“After turning off the current, the flame disappeared, allowing us to repeat the process multiple times. This involved applying voltage, observing smoke, igniting the smoke to create a burning effect, and then turning off the voltage,” explained Dr. Wang.
He mentioned that we were thrilled to discover a system with the ability to be easily turned on and off.
Researchers have identified a key characteristic of the fuel that makes it impervious to unintentional fires.
According to the study, this method introduces a new way of thinking and has the potential to create a reliable source of fuel.
Scientists have stated that additional studies need to be conducted to determine the effectiveness of using this technology in various types of engines, prior to its potential commercialization.
Although researchers stated that it could be combined with traditional fuel, they urged for further investigation to determine the maximum allowable mixture before it becomes flammable.
According to Michael R Zachariah, one of the authors of the study, producing these compounds in large quantities would ultimately decrease the cost, but it would still be more costly than their current fuel production method.
The source is the Independent newspaper from the UK.