How to vaporize ice volcanoes
Ice volcanoes are one of the most destructive and destructive geological phenomena in the world.
They form in places where lava has formed, and they can cause earthquakes, melt roads, and cause massive damage.
However, the process of vaporizing ice volcanos has never been fully explored.
As such, researchers have long been searching for ways to generate ice vapor from volcanic ash.
In a recent study published in the Journal of Geophysical Research-Surface Water, researchers from NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory and the University of Washington used a technique called “volcanic aerosol deposition,” which involves a chemical reaction that creates a liquid containing sulfuric acid and other compounds.
“We were able to vaporise ice volcanism in the lab using a chemical approach,” said Dr. John S. Tewkesha, a geophysicist at JPL who led the study.
“It’s not a technique that’s easy to do, and we’ve only done it once before.
But it worked.”
Dr. Tiwesha and his team began with a simple recipe for making ice: water, a bit of sugar, and sulfuric chloride.
They then heated the mixture to 1,000 degrees Celsius (3,200 degrees Fahrenheit) and added a small amount of water.
The resulting liquid, or vapor, quickly condensed and flowed through a tube with a metal cap that would keep the mixture from escaping.
After the vapor cooled, they used a heat gun to vaporate the mixture for 30 seconds, at which point the liquid would turn into ice.
After a couple of minutes, they put the tube into a vacuum chamber and added sulfuric nitrate, a compound that produces hydrogen sulfide gas.
Once the mixture cooled, it was then heated to 1 million degrees Celsius.
“Once the mixture is heated to 2,000 or 3,000 Celsius, it has the ability to vaporulate a lot of ice,” said study co-author Dr. David R. Brown, a chemist at JPSL.
“This is why you need to use a really good vaporizer.
You can do this in a couple hours.”
The team used a method that had been developed by Dr. Brown and his colleagues to produce a mixture of sodium hydroxide and sulfur dioxide, which would produce a liquid that would form a vapor and condense, but only in a certain area of the ice.
Once they heated the ice to 2 million degrees, they added a mixture with sodium bromide, a chemical that reacts with sulfuric carbon to form a volatile liquid.
The mixture then cooled and evaporated for 15 minutes.
“The vapor condenses in an area that is very close to the surface of the volcanic rock,” said Brown.
“If you have enough pressure in that area, it will condense to form ice.”
To determine if the method worked, the researchers tested the vapor produced by their method in a simulated eruption of a volcano on Mars.
They found that the mixture produced vapor that was less dense than the amount of gas present in the volcano, and less likely to rupture if a large amount of the gas evaporated.
they were also able to produce ice from vapor from a simulated volcanic eruption on the surface in Iceland, and from a volcano near the coast of Antarctica.
“These are all very different techniques,” said co-lead author Dr. Chris Bouchard, a professor of Earth and planetary science at Jpl.
“Our results are a very useful starting point for future studies.”
They plan to use the technique in future experiments.
“While it has not been a widely studied technique, it is a really interesting one,” said Bouchards co-director of the Planetary and Space Science Institute at NASA’s Ames Research Center.
“In our view, this technique offers the potential to produce aerosol from a large number of ice volcanics that are all in the same area, or the same geological time.”
The study was funded by NASA’s Geophysical Fluid Dynamics Laboratory and NASA’s Astrobiology Science Institute.
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